Mental Health Hospitals Continue to Feel the Brunt of Budget Cuts in Massachusetts and in Alabama With Closures
Posted Feb 16 2012 2:43am
There were two articles today with 4 state facilities being closed in Alabama leaving only two and one major facility south of Boston in Massachusetts. Along with closures go the jobs too. Over 400 work at the Massachusetts facility and about 700 jobs with the closures in Alabama.
In Alabama the move is to push patients towards community based care to save money and still qualify for federal funds. Mental Health seems to be the top of the cutting order all over the US as even in Los Angeles, Cedars Sinai cut out their mental health services. BD
Patient advocates and officials in communities south of Boston are lobbying to block the state Department of Mental Health’s plan to close Taunton State Hospital, saying it would leave Southeastern Massachusetts without a single bed for the mentally ill.
Taunton State Hospital, which opened its doors in 1854, has 169 beds and 410 employees. The state’s plan, aimed at trimming the budget, would shift 124 of the beds to the new Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital and 45 to Tewksbury State Hospital by Dec. 31. The Taunton facility’s employees would be offered positions at the Worcester facility.
MONTGOMERY — Mental Health Commissioner Zelia Baugh on Wednesday announced plans to close four of the state's six mental health hospitals, leaving two in Tuscaloosa, and moving all remaining non-court committed mental patients to community facilities.
Baugh said the potential for a 25 percent General Fund budget cut mandates the closures and consolidations that will result in the loss of 948 of 1,555 state jobs and the transfers of as many as 473 hospital patients to community facilities by the target date of Sept. 30.
“We have looked at every other viable alternative,” Baugh said. “Obviously, the state is facing a dire fiscal situation.”