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Headline: Paris' Pompidou hospital plagued by setbacks [excerpts]
Source: The Lancet, Volume 357, Number 9250, 13 January 2001
An outbreak of Legionnaires disease among patients at the Georges Pompidou hospital, Paris, is the latest in a string of setbacks that have plagued the capital's new ultramodern hospital. The 758-bed hospital, flagship of the hospital operating chain Assistance Publique-H˘pitaux de Paris (AP-HP), has been bedevilled by problems since its construction was started in 1993.
The hospital was built to replace the outdated facilities of the Laennec, Broussais, Boucicaut, and St-Lazare hospitals in the west of Paris, a process that led to the cutting of 412 hospital beds. Increased efficiency through a patient-oriented approach with a sophisticated electronic information system was thought to make up for this lost number of beds, while cutting annual operating costs by around US$14 million. Planned openings for October, 1998, and September, 1999, had to be postponed because of construction problems...
When the hospital finally opened its doors for patients in July, 2000, a number of logistical problems emerged. Sterilisation of surgical equipment was malfunctioning, drinking water was not available at times, and the hospital's electronic information system was breaking down frequently. In December, 2000, the hospital's patient transportation staff went on strike in a protest about their working conditions...
-- Andre Weltman (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 22, 2001