Most Hospital Complaints Not Investigated in Ill.

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CBS St. Louis (con't)

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CHICAGO (AP) — A published report says the Illinois Department of Public Health didn’t investigate 85 percent of the 560 hospital complaints it received last year.

That’s even when the complaints alleged patient abuse and problems with infection control. The Chicago Tribune reported Sunday that some allegations of serious harm or death weren’t investigated, even though federal law requires reviews within 48 hours.

The newspaper cites thousands of state records.

The complaints included one from a patient at a southern Illinois hospital who said nurses and doctors didn’t wear protective gowns or gloves while a bacterial infection spread through the hospital.

Melaney Arnold is a spokeswoman for the state health department. She says the department works to address serious allegations, but does not have the funding need to investigate all complaints.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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