Cuts at Bethany Hospital Rejected

June 6, 2006

Bethany Hospital on Chicago's West Side must continue to provide OBGYN and mental health services.

That's after a state board voiced unanimous opposition to the private hospital's request to cut those departments.

Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board members were concerned that Bethany's patients would have trouble finding care at other hospitals.

Susana Lopatka of the planning board says public hospitals alone can't fix a broken health care system.

Lopatka says, "It's certainly not within the abilities of this board to make it right, but I also think that we have the ability to maintain some stability of the care that currently is in the community."

Several dozen community activists rallied before the meeting to protest the proposed changes.

Officials from Advocate Healthcare, which owns the hospital, say Bethany's OBGYN and mental health services are underutilized.

Advocate says they haven't decided whether to appeal the board's decision.