Chopping Block for Child's Psych Hospital?

Nothing is being spared consideration for the budget ax, including children’s mental health.

The Republican leader of the state Senate recommends that the state's only psychiatric hospital for children should be closed because costs are much too high at a time when the state faces billions of dollars in budget deficits.

Sen. John McKinney of Fairfield said Wednesday that the state could save millions of dollars if it shut down Riverview Hospital in Middletown and sent children to other treatment centers.

State officials said it costs $862,000 a year to treat one child at Riverview, although that figure includes workers' benefits.

A spokesman for the state Department of Children and Families said no other treatment center in Connecticut offers Riverview's level of services.

Other lawmakers are not convinced that Riverview should be closed because it provides essential services.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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