In the March 5 article, "State Says It Has No Plans To Close Hospitals," Stephen Mayberg, director of the state Department of Mental Health, says: "We haven't ruled out anything. But I think that if we come up with better approaches or strategies, I'd rather have better utilization of our facilities than less facilities. There are no plans to shut any hospital down."
I wasn't convinced of anything. Better approaches or better strategies? Come on, Mr. Mayberg, you can do better than that.
The plain truth is that no new approaches or new strategies can save the sinking ship of state hospitals. A radical and major overhaul of structure and change of thinking are needed.
State hospitals need restructuring. There are too many programs in the hospitals with separate administrations. Those managers should be eliminated by uniting, consolidating programs. This would save the state millions of dollars.
Also, the load of paperwork should be reduced and the process simplified. The staff of state hospitals spends many hours writing unnecessary reports and notes, which no one reads, but is required by the federal government. And volunteers should be employed more by the state hospitals.