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Money woes threaten to force Nanbu Hospital closed

Date Posted: 2004-01-22

Years of operating in the red threaten to close the Prefectural Nambu Hospital, despite strong opposition from local residents and Itoman City officials. Although the hospital is still operating normally, the prefectural government made a decision in September to close it. “It is too expensive to operate. The prefecture cannot find a budget to continue as we have other obligations that we have to meet,” a prefecture spokesman said.

The prefecture informed local governments about the planned closure in a letter in September and that has propelled Itoman City Mayor Chosei Yamazato and Kochinda Town Mayor Eikou Kinjo to work overtime to keep the hospital open. “This hospital is full of patients. If the hospital is closed, where would those people go? If the prefecture can not keep the hospital open, they should give it to a private enterprise that could keep it operating,” Kinjo said.

Some members of the Prefectural Assembly who hail from Itoman area are also working to find a workable solution. However, they are running out of time as the end of the fiscal year nears, and with it the prefecture’s budget runs out.

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