Rally Planned To Protest Taunton Hospital Closing

BOSTON (AP) — Opponents of plans to close Taunton State Hospital have scheduled a rally at the Statehouse.

State Sen. Marc Pacheco and Rep. Patricia Haddad are planning to host the Thursday event.

Pacheco said the state’s mental health system is already fragile and closing Taunton State Hospital could be dangerous for those seeking care. Haddad said the decision will create a hole in the safety net for patients and families from communities south of Boston.

Gov. Deval Patrick in January announced the decision to shutter the 169-bed facility by year’s end, citing the opening of the new Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital, set to open this summer.

Officials said patients will be transferred to either the new Worcester facility or Tewksbury State Hospital, or discharged to a community facility where appropriate.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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