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Execs: Cook Health System Needs New Structure

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Healthcare executives are calling for an independent agency to head Cook County’s healthcare system. For Chicago Public Radio, Alex Helmick has the story.

Young: There’s all kinds of patronage, nepotism, sweetheart contracts all the uglies of government abuse. Dr. Quentin Young is the former chief of medicine at Cook County Hospital. He was at an event sponsored by the Rotary Club at the Union League Club of Chicago.

He says control of the massive county system needs to farmed out to a private, independent agency, taking away control from Cook County Board President Todd Stroger.

If the problems aren’t addressed, Ken Robbins -- the head of the Illinois Hospital Association-- says uninsured patients could be pushed to other hospitals in the county, swamping E-R’s and leaving huge debts.

Robbins: It would be impossible for other hospitals to pick up that load.

A spokesman for the Cook County Healthcare System did not return calls for this report.

For Chicago Public Radio, I’m Alex Helmick.

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