CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update FLORIDA: Measure Would Gut State Health Division, Close A.G.
February 8, 2012
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