State delays construction on new psychiatric hospital

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration is delaying construction of a new state psychiatric hospital in Michigan's Thumb region, citing concerns such as an inability to staff the facility.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced the pause Wednesday. It says the current hospital in Caro has staffing shortages, and psychiatrists from other state hospitals have been pulled in.

The state says it has been tough finding a safe water source at an acceptable cost, and just 30 percent of the 86 patients have family within 75 miles.

DHHS Director Robert Gordon says the agency will ask an outside consultant to review the project.

Republican Rep. Phil Green of Millington says the Whitmer administration's decision is "devastating to our community," saying he is "disgusted at the blatant disregard" for Thumb residents.