McCrory: Easley-Perdue Administration Accountable for Mental Health Crises
New leadership needed to correct problems
The following is a statement from Mayor Pat McCrory, the Republican nominee for governor, in response to news that employees at Cherry Hospital accepted money from drug companies and foreign medical schools to visit destinations such as Hawaii and Hungary:
"The Easley-Perdue administration continues to lurch from one crisis to another in mental health care. In the latest scandal, managers at Cherry Hospital took money from a nonprofit foundation created to benefit the hospital's patients to spend on catered meals and a staff retreat. This follows the director of Central Regional Hospital stepping down after using money intended for patients use to have her portrait made. In typical administration fashion, the former Central Hospital administrator was sent to Cherry Hospital to help correct problems there.
"The mismanagement in mental health is so systemic that it will require a complete change of attitude and management to solve the crisis. While both Gov. Easley and Lt. Gov. Perdue sit in silence, patients are in danger, hospitals are losing accreditation, and taxpayer's dollars are being misspent.
"Over the last year, Broughton Hospital lost and regained accreditation, Cherry Hospital lost accreditation and the new Central Regional Hospital is about to lose accreditation. At the same time, administration officials have been unrelenting in their drive to close Dorothea Dix Hospital which may cause it to lose accreditation. Loss of accreditation at Broughton cost taxpayers $1 million a month and the loss of accreditation at Cherry Hospital is costing taxpayers $800,000 a month. In addition, over $400 million has been misspent in reform efforts.
"In order to improve our mental health system, we must hold people accountable for mismanagement and scandal. Second, we must change the culture of striving for minimum standards and set the goal to achieve excellence. Third, we must admit mistakes and not continue down the wrong road simply because some people are stubborn. Fourth, we must improve the caliber of training for mental health care workers. Most importantly, we need the leadership of a new administration.
"It is obvious that reform of our mental health care system must come from outside the present administration. Lt. Gov. Perdue is part of the problem and should not be entrusted with the major task of correcting a broken Mental Health system."