For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext 353
SYRACUSE, Nov. 22, 2010 – For more than 180 years, the County of Onondaga has provided care for its most vulnerable residents. Now, the registered nurses who work at the Van Duyn Home and Hospital fear the county is turning its back.
Onondaga County officials are preparing to seek bids for turning over operation of Van Duyn to a private corporation. Van Duyn nurses, who are represented by the New York State Nurses Association, believe that privatizing public health services is an expensive mistake.
The Van Duyn nurses will take part in a joint informational session with their CSEA colleagues between 2 and 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 23, at the facility at 5075 West Seneca Turnpike.
The nurses are concerned because private industry’s goal of earning a profit for its shareholders directly conflicts with the history and mission of Van Duyn to provide care for those who are most in need.
A private healthcare corporation is motivated to squeeze out profits by cutting corners and denying care to those who are unable to pay, those whose care may be more complicated or time consuming, or those with insurance is difficult to deal with. Patients who are left out in the cold may be forced to turn right back to the county for help, which puts a strain on other agencies. Or they could be forced into nursing homes outside of the county.
If the Van Duyn operation is turned over to a bidder outside of the county, the local economy would suffer. The tax dollars local residents pay to support locally based care through Medicare and Medicaid will be lost to some corporate CEO in another city.
If this privatization is indeed a foregone conclusion, the nurses believe that Onondaga County residents must insist that the facility continues to operate the public’s interest and that it continues to provide care regardless of a person’s ability to pay.
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 37,000 members, it is the state's largest professional association and union for registered nurses. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.
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