The board of the Cook County Health and Hospital System, the third-largest hospital system in the country, last week adopted a budget of $828 million.

The spending plan relies on a $283 million subsidy from Cook County.

County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who is currently crafting the county’s $3.2 billion budget for 2012, said she is willing to cover $248 million, $35 million less than the health care system had expected.

“Government at all levels is facing difficult economic circumstances and we have to do more with less,” Preckwinkle said in a statement.

“My administration will continue to work to make Cook County government more effective and more efficient for its residents,” she added.

“We have to be conscious of the fact that we as the county have an economic problem here,” Michael Ayres, the health system’s chief financial officer, told the Chicago Tribune.

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