Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
  The Cook County Law Library is the second largest County law library in the nation.
   
     
     
     



County can't put residents' health at risk

Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Daily Southtown
Editorial

The issue: The head of the Cook County health bureau says that if more funding isn't provided, the consequences could be life-threatening.


We say: Budget cuts made this year were too severe. The county needs to ensure that it can provide the services that residents need, even if it means fewer political hires within the bureau.

There's a health crisis in Cook County.

The head of the county's public health bureau said so.

Dr. Robert Simon said that unless his bureau gets more money in 2008 -- $119 million, to be exact -- "people will suffer ... people are probably going to die ... for lack of care."

It was both heartening and strange to hear those words come from Dr. Simon's mouth. Heartening because it shows a public official sparing no words in bringing to light a genuine problem. Strange because it is the same Dr. Simon who recently oversaw cuts of $107 million from what had been an $845-million health system.

Simon contends that, amid a major budget crisis countywide, he had no other choice but to make severe cuts this year. Simon said it was essential to take out "all the garbage" within certain areas of bureau.

But the cuts, according to a Daily Southtown analysis, also included 260 doctors and 230 nurses. The budget cuts also included the excellent long-term care unit and skilled nursing unit at Oak Forest Hospital.

In the meantime, some lower-level workers, whose jobs were acquired through political connections, no doubt remained employed through the most recent budget cycle -- though their duties likely were more expendable than nearly 500 doctors and nurses.

It's unfortunate that a critical need of our community -- public health -- has become such a political football within the county's budget process. Yet we believe Simon when he says people could die from lack of care.

County officials must find a way to ensure that existing health services are maintained or improved. Simon told county board members he would like to restore some primary care services that were cut this year and increase the number of hip and joint replacements the county can perform. He said he regrets having to cut in those areas this year but had to deal with the target numbers he was handed.

Simon's new wish list appears to be a valid one. The county cannot do without essential services and adequate personnel.

Thus, officials have their work cut out for them in the upcoming months trying to find the $119 million that's needed. We hope officials take a more honest look at their payroll and the contracts they've approved and ensure that political favoritism is not trumping health care.

The county also must continue to strive to improve its billing system. Simon admitted problems in this area still exist. But with millions of dollars at stake, work toward a solution needs to be expedited.

Simon has a unique way with words, and on occasion that brings heat upon him -- some of it justified. However, he spoke passionately to board members about the need to keep public health care vibrant. He called the Cook County system "the Mayo Clinic of public hospitals."

We agree with him on the county's obligation to provide the finest health services possible. But we still feel politics interferes too often with that goal. With lives at stake, that simply cannot be allowed.



Recent Headlines

Top prosecutor Kim Foxx apologizes as 18 convictions linked to corrupt cop vacated
Monday, September 24, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preteens out of detention before trial under new ordinance
Friday, September 14, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Board bars detention of youth under 13 years old
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Injustice Watch

Preteens accused of crimes won't be locked up at Cook County juvenile center
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Slowik: Cook County offers residents last chance to comment on strategic plan
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Daily Southtown

Settlement over Cook County's 2007 decision to cut inmates' dental care will cost nearly $5.3 million
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Anti-patronage Shakman pact requiring federal oversight of Cook County hiring, firing to end
Friday, August 31, 2018
Chicago Tribune

1st District upholds merit board in firing of deputy
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Neighborhood program helps Cook County residents buy homes
Sunday, August 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Judge upholds Cook County firearm, ammunition taxes
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Editorial: E-filing should make Cook County courts more accessible. It doesn't
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County tax incentive could pave way for Wingstop, Dunkin' Donuts on Elgin's Summit Street
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: What happened to the elk?
Friday, August 10, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wells Fargo to offer $15,000 grants to potential Cook County homebuyers
Thursday, August 09, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suit alleges Cook County detainees secretly monitored in bathrooms in holding cells at courthouses
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Half the elk at Busse Woods died last year, and officials arenít sure why
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

A letter from Dr. Jay Shannon regarding gun violence and Stroger Hospital
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

As Evanston adapts to minimum wage hike, nearby towns say they have no plan to join in
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit could blast a $250 million hole in county budget
Monday, August 06, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Pappas: Automatic refunds of $19.5 million going to 53,000 homeowners because of property tax cuts
Monday, August 06, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP