Bismarck  (Prairie Public Radio) –  Prairie Public Radio, with audio on CSi Cable 77 reports that the superintendent of the state Hospital in Jamestown says the state Human Services Department is considering recommending that a new hospital be built – albeit smaller than the current facility.

Dr. Rosalie Etherington told the Legislature’s interim Human Services Committee – this would follow the recommendations by the Human Services Research Institute. That consultant recommends more psychiatric care beds be found in western North Dakota, possibly in partnership with hospitals.

Etherington told the Committee some of the existing buildings for the hospital are unused or condemned. And she says the facility is ill-equipped for modern psychiatric hospital care.

Etherington also said most of the electrical and plumbing systems are past their life expectancy. She says the campus is costly and inefficient.

Etherington says the next step will be to try to find psychiatric beds in the west. She says she will come back to the committee with further proposals by fall.