The District's Implementation of Public Law 98-621, the Saint Elizabeths Hospital and District of Columbia Mental Health Services Act

T-GGD-90-28: Published: Mar 27, 1990. Publicly Released: Mar 27, 1990.

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GAO discussed the transition of Saint Elizabeths Hospital from federal to District of Columbia (D.C.) control. GAO noted that: (1) in fiscal years (FY) 1988 and 1989, the federal government provided $57.4 million and $43.4 million, respectively, to fund the transition; (2) in FY 1988 and 1989, D.C.-approved budgets included $152.1 million and $154.3 million, respectively, to run Saint Elizabeths; (3) the D.C. Commission on Mental Health Services planned to use $25.5 million in additional federal funding for renovations and a community-based system, but capital project estimates were incomplete or not fully developed; (4) proposed legislation would provide continued federal funding for the clinical training program; (5) since October 1987, Saint Elizabeths has operated with staff shortages, but officials believe that a community-based mental health system will resolve the shortages; (6) the D.C. Mayor signed an act enabling unlicensed clinical staff to obtain D.C. licenses; (7) the Commission and the D.C. Fire Department reached an agreement regarding the status of Saint Elizabeths firefighters; and (8) in FY 1989 the Commission provided $88,700 in supplies to other D.C. agencies.

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