For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext 353
SYRACUSE, NY, Aug. 10, 2010 – The proposed privatization of health care services at Onondaga County correctional facilities would have a negative impact on the quality of patient care, according to the New York State Nurses Association, the union for the county’s registered nurses.
County officials have been seeking bids from private corporations to provide nursing services starting in October. Privatization of prison healthcare has been criticized across the nation, and in a number of cases poor corporate management has led to lapses in care and even deaths.
In New York state, for example:
Onondaga County nurses believe this issue affects the entire community. Correctional facilities present a wide range of healthcare management challenges, including controlling the spread of contagious diseases. Onondaga County nurses have been committed to providing quality care to all members of our community.
In less than two months, 30 Nurses Association RNs who have worked for years in the correctional facility could be sent out the door. The county has promised that nurses will be given an opportunity to fill vacant positions, followed by “bumping” of probationary or less-senior nurses. However, the Nurses Association contends that any reduction of nurses will increase the patient load per nurse and decrease patient safety.
The county has promised taxpayers that privatization will save them millions of dollars, but at what cost?
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 36,000 members, it is the state's largest professional association and largest union for registered nurses. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.
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