BERLIN, Vt. (AP) - Some lawmakers have been questioning the costs of Vermont's new state psychiatric hospital.
Rep. Anne Donahue says the direct-care staff-to-patient ratio at the Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital in Berlin will be nearly twice what it was at the now-closed Vermont State Hospital in Waterbury.
The old hospital lost its federal certification and funding about eight years before flooding from Tropical Storm Irene forced it to close in 2011.
The new facility's first-year operating budget is about $19 million. That's less than the $22 million spent at the Waterbury hospital the year before it closed, but that facility was more than double the size.
The new hospital's CEO, Jeff Rothenberg, says the staffing levels are needed to provide top-notch psychiatric care. It is set to open in July.
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