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State Takes on County over Lack of Plan for Oak Forest

Date: 
05/03/2011

 

On Monday May 2nd, over 110 local residents, union members and activists attended a hearing held by the Illinois Health and Healthcare Disparity Committee on the closure of Oak Forest hospital.  At the hearing, people testified that the County has already started to close off services and lay-off staff without approval from the state, leaving families to search for alternative care in the "health care desert".  

“They say they’re working with families to help them relocate, but that’s not the case,” Roth said Monday. “They just peek their head in his door occasionally and ask if he’s made a plan. Mike’s been in the same hospital, in the same room, for the past 17 years and has received phenomenal care. ”

State Representatives and local city elected officials expressed concerns and disappointment in the county's lack of a real plan to replace cut services.  State Representative Davis called for additional hearings, while Representative Flowers questioned the legality of the proposed cuts.

“I am appalled,” said committee member Rep. Mary Flowers said of proposed changes she said would “dismantle” health service for the poor in south Cook County.   “You talk about expanding (services), yet you are laying off doctors, laying off staff. How do you plan to do (more) if you’re laying people off?”

The Illinois Facilities Board will meet on May 10th to take a final vote on the future of Oak Forest hospital.  Families will continue to organize to address the issue of inadequate services in the southland health care desert.

Chicago Tribune: Click here.

Southtown Star: Click here.