(KCPW News) Should the state look at fixing a system that many say isn’t broken? That was the question before the legislature’s Senate Health and Human Services Committee Friday, which debated whether to consider privatizing the State Mental hospital. As KCPW’s Jessica Gail reports, many don’t think a change would net any better results.
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Every year, the administrators of the Utah State Hospital gets put through the same set of paces:
1) an elected official has money put in their campaign coffers by a conglomerate or a developer that wants to take over the facility with a claim that they can run the institution at a profit without surrendering the quality of care;
2) an elected official makes a proposal to ‘study the feasibility’ of ‘privatizing’ the institution;
3) the proposal is sent to committee for review;
4) the committee decides to conduct a study at a cost to the tax payers at an astronomical sum of money to the tax payers;
5) consultants come in to review the facilities, performance, quality of care, adherence to national and state standards. EACH AND EVERY TIME SUCH A STUDY IS CONDUCTED – I REPEAT – EACH AND EVERY TIME SUCH A STUDY IS CONDUCTED – FEASIBILITY STUDIES COME BACK WITH THE SAME RESULTS – THAT THE UTAH STATE HOSPITAL IS AMONG THE VERY TOP TIRED INSTITUTIONS OF ITS KIND IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY;
6) The reviews are sent back to committee and the matter is tabled until the next legislative session;
7) The following year, the whole process starts all over again.
How much more scrutiny does the Utah State Hospital have to go through before the Utah State Legislature and the citizens of this state recognize the institution for what it is – a model of public efficiency, running on a slim budget with results that are truly exemplary?!?
How much more taxpayer dollars are going to be spent before the realization is made that it is time to:
1) renew a collective community effort in assisting the mentally ill, the addicted and the disenfranchised
2) to unite our resources toward maintaining and improving the system which has proven its track record?