‘Life-and-death debate’: OSU Medical Center asks state for $13 million increase in appropriations

BY WAYNE GREENE World Senior Writer

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tulsa’s OSU Medical Center is seeking an $18.25 million state appropriation as the future of the city’s only public hospital could be on the line, OSU-Tulsa President Howard Barnett said Wednesday.

The downtown Tulsa hospital treats 45,000 emergency room patients a year and trains doctors for the entire state. But without sufficient public funding, closing or a sharp reduction in services is a possibility, Barnett said.

“If we should not get an adequate subsidy, then that is certainly a possibility that we would have to at least consider, and we have talked to the legislators about that,” Barnett said.

Giving the hospital less than the amount needed could lead to “death by a thousand cuts” as the facility reduces areas of service, the number of people treated and the number of doctors trained to avoid running out of cash, he said.

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