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North Carolina mental health facilities short on space, squeezing hospitals

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RALEIGH (AP) -- Shrinking capacity and growing demand have increasingly squeezed North Carolina hospitals looking to transfer mental health patients into psychiatric facilities.

That's the case at Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh. State records show the state psychiatric facility put patients on wait lists about two-thirds of the time in the past three months.

The state's mental hospitals have lost capacity over the past three decades as officials downsize state mental hospitals in favor of private outpatient care. But monthly admissions of adult patients at Dorothea Dix have increased by more than one-third in the past four years.

Carla Parker Hollis is a spokeswoman for Duke Health Raleigh. She says it's becoming increasingly difficult to find a good inpatient setting for patients.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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