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County Health Bureau Asks for More Money

Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Chicago Public Radio
by Tony Arnold

Cook County commissioners are scheduled to host a public hearing this morning on a new budget for the long-troubled county health system.

Earlier this year, commissioners created an independent board of directors. The idea was the board would be better suited than commissioners to fix years of mismanagement at the health bureau. Now that board says it needs more money. Warren Batts heads the health bureau board of directors.

BATTS: I've been involved in turning around businesses for 40 years and I've never come into a situation with less information that was accurate to work with. There's a lot of hearsay, a lot of myth, but hard information is not easy to come by.

Batts wants commissioners to give the board an extra $100-million dollars, mostly for hiring doctors and nurses. Commissioner Forrest Claypool says there's some uncertainty in the plan, but it could help bring in more money in the future. Commissioner Larry Suffredin says the board of directors are re-tooling the health bureau's organization, which will help it be more efficient.


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