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Big Changes Approved for Cook County Hospitals

Thursday, July 15, 2010
Chicago Public Radio
by Gabriel Spitzer

Health care in Cook County could be in for some big changes under a plan approved by county commissioners.

The strategic plan calls for shutting down most in-patient care at Provident and Oak Forest hospitals. The savings would go toward expanding the county’s clinic system. Union representatives, like AFSCME’s John Cameron, say downsizing the hospitals will harm people on the South Side and south suburbs.

CAMERON: Can the relatively small budgetary savings projected to be save through those closures justify the disruption and the restricted access for folks in the county’s most medically underserved area?

Health and Hospitals CEO Bill Foley says the system needs to adapt to new population patterns, and likely reductions in revenue.

FOLEY: We can’t do business as usual and expand access. We need to redeploy our resources.

The measure passed yesterday nine votes to three. It will go before the same group of commissioners at the next full meeting of the county board.


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