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Morale Low in Cook County Health Care System

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Cook County is moving ahead with cuts to its health care system. Some nurses and doctors say the lay-offs have just started, and they’re already affecting patient care and morale. Chicago Public Radio’s Lynette Kalsnes reports.

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Dr. Janice Benson, who’s president of the Stroger Hospital medical staff, says roughly 60 doctors already got pink slips. And she says more lay-off notices arrive every few weeks. She says the cuts are affecting patients.

BENSON: They may not know where and when they can get an appointment with their doctors. Or they’ve lost a doctor because the doctor has been terminated. With decreased staff at our clinic sites, this makes it difficult for people to even get through on the phone to get an appointment.

Benson says doctors are “extremely upset and worried.”

But a spokesman for the county board president says there’s no appreciable difference in waiting times, which he says have been historically long.

I’m Lynette Kalsnes, Chicago Public Radio.

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