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Staffs worry about shifts in Cook County (IL) Health System

The New York Times, December 13, 2010

As Tia Speat strode through the quiet halls of Oak Forest Hospital last week passing out fliers about the nurses union’s contract negotiations with Cook County officials, angry nurses accosted her with questions and complaints about proposed cuts in service and staff.

The Stroger emergency room could get even more crowded once two South Side hospitals reduce inpatient services.

As the county health system shifts strategy to deliver care with leaner resources, many who provide medical services say they are approaching a breaking point. An analysis by the nurses union predicted that the county health system’s 2011 budget would cut about 1,000 jobs, including 114 nurses and 19 doctors, to help close a $487 million countywide budget gap.

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