Cherry Hospital Could Get Downsized

North Carolina's proposed state budget would reduce the size of two state mental hospitals to save more than $6 million a year. The plan would rely on community treatment for those patients.

The News & Observer reported Thursday that the budget proposal from Gov. Beverly Perdue would eliminate a total of 50 beds at Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro and Broughton Hospital in Morganton.

Perdue's budget adds $12 million to establish 111 additional local hospital beds for the mentally ill. The state has tried in the past to persuade companies to offer local services for the mentally ill. Advocates say more services would be available if the government buys space in local hospitals.

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