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Pa. officials say health centers aren't effective

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Gov. Tom Corbett's Department of Health wants to close nearly half of the state's health centers because it says they aren't effective in treating public health problems.

Instead, Department of Health officials say they want to transform the system to reach more people. One way is by taking immunization drives to public events.

The department says the plan will mean consolidating the 60 state health centers into 34 while eliminating the jobs of 26 nurses that overlap with other agencies. Department officials say 104 nurses will remain on the job.

The labor union that represents state nurses says the move runs the risk of slowing down the detection or prevention of outbreaks of communicable diseases. Nurses say closing the centers will especially be felt in rural areas.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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