Local Politics

Dix patients transferred as state debates next step

The state's oldest mental hospital transferred some of its last patients Monday, effectively closing the facility in an effort to save the state an estimated $17 million.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The state's oldest mental hospital transferred some of its last patients Monday, effectively closing the facility in an effort to save the state an estimated $17 million.

North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services decided to shut down most operations at Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh as the state faces a projected $3.7 billion deficit.

Patients were moved to Central Regional Hospital in Butner and Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro.

Patients in the minimum-security forensics unit, which houses criminals with mental illnesses who have been ordered by a judge to undergo treatment, remain at the hospital.

Gov. Bev Perdue announced her desire to consolidate all forensics patients at Dix and hire a private company to manage the unit last week. The DHHS has already issued a notice requesting information from interested private vendors.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker envisions turning the 306-acre property into a regional park, modeled after New York's Central Park. He said Perdue's plan to keep the forensics unit at Dix would not be a major hurdle to building a large park on the campus.

 

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Matthew Burns, Web Editor
Bridget Whelan, Web Editor

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