Jun 15, 2016 3:32 PM

NH officials: Labor dispute won't hurt state hospital services

The Associated Press

CONCORD — The Executive Council has approved a contract officials say will keep the state hospital fully staffed through the summer, despite an ongoing labor dispute with many of the hospital's psychiatrists.

But 12 psychiatrist employees who are set to stop working at New Hampshire Hospital come July 1 say the new contract could jeopardize patient care.

The state-run hospital serves people who are involuntarily committed for mental health issues and provides other services. For years, Dartmouth College's school of medicine has contracted with the state to provide psychiatric services. Amid restructuring, that role is shifting to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, sparking the labor dispute.

The contract approved Wednesday lasts four months. State health officials say they'll use that time to determine whether Dartmouth Hitchcock can adequately serve the state hospital's needs.

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