- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 24, 2018

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont State Employees Union and University of Vermont Medical Center are going head-to-head over a plan to revamp the state’s mental health care system.

WCAX-TV reports the state is planning to send 25 beds from the Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital to a nonprofit hospital, reducing the state hospital to a 16-bed facility for patients with lesser needs.

UVM, meanwhile, would use $21 million in surplus funds to expand mental health treatment at Central Vermont Medical Center.

The state employees union argues the plan would cut state jobs. The union also says independently run hospitals have refused care to the sickest patients in the past.

The union is asking lawmakers to keep 16 beds at the state hospital for patients with high needs.

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