The Arkansas Career Training Insitute will close its 24-bed acute care hospital, at the urging

of federal officials who believe it would be more efficient for the

institute to pay for medical treatment of clients elsewhere, rather than

operating a full time hospital.  The rehab center's hospital has

averaged three patients a day for the past several years.

The Arkansas Career Training Institute may be better know by most people
in Arkansas as the Rehab Center.  A prominent sight in downtown Hot
Springs, the facility rises up the mountain at the south end of
Bathhouse Row.

The institute will close its 24-bed acute care hospital, at the urging
of federal officials who believe it would be more efficient for the
institute to pay for medical treatment of clients elsewhere, rather than
operating a full time hospital.  The rehab center's hospital has
averaged three patients a day for the past several years.

The decision means that the institute will no longer need to buy
expensive medical equipment to keep up with medical providers that
routinely purchase state-of-the-art technology.  It also means the loss
of 20 to 30 full time positions, depending on how much care the
institute will continue to provide.  It now offers physical and
occupational therapy, in addition to psychiatric counseling, medical
care and a broad range of other services.

The rehab center, which can house up to 320 people with disabilities,
provides vocational rehabilitation to help people find jobs.  A task
force, with input from employees, will determine the center's new
medical role over the next six to 12 months.

The institute is a part of the Arkansas Rehabilitation Services division
of the state Career Education Department.