It looks like the closure of Dorothea Dix hospital will be almost complete by the year's end. The state-run psychiatric facility in Raleigh has been slated for closure for years under the state's mental health reform. The only patients to remain on the downtown campus will be 30 minimum security criminal patients.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Lanier Cansler answered questions about Dix issue at a legislative meeting today.
"This is purely an economic, fiscal issue that we have to deal with. there has been no budgeted funds for Dix for several years now. wiht the economy and the budget the department's had in the past, we've transferred dollars from other areas in order to maintain facilities. But we're trying to stabilize the system on which we can build in the future and build that community capacity that we need to build."
Cansler says with the savings from closing Dix, he'll be able to open even more beds at the new Central Regional Hospital in Butner. He says the Dix closure will also free up money for building community-based services in other parts of the state.