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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

FLORIDA: Measure Would Gut State Health Division, Close A.G. Holley Hospital


Palm Beach Post (02.07.12) - Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The House Health and Human Services Quality subcommittee on Monday voted 7-4 to approve HB 1263, a measure that would close Florida's last TB hospital and cut about 12,000 state health department jobs. The measure would largely get the state out of the business of running county health departments, turning this responsibility over to county commissions. Supporters of the change say many of the jobs cut would actually convert to county positions. Lantana's A.G. Holley Hospital opened in 1950 as one of four state TB sanatoriums. It was built to serve 500 patients, but declines in TB and changes in the way it is treated have left it serving only 37 patients daily, said House Health and Human Services budget Chair Matt Hudson (R-Naples), the bill's sponsor. State officials say 160 state jobs remain at Holley. Under the overhaul proposal, community hospitals would care for Florida's TB patients, many of whom are covered by Medicaid and are migrants from Caribbean nations. Lantana Town Manager Michael Bornstein said local leaders are eager to convert the hospital's 144-acre campus to a different use, such as a corporate relocation site, thus bringing new jobs to the county.


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