The governor, real estate developers, and for-profit hospital chains are embarking on a dangerous experiment that will make patient care in New York much worse. Nurses won’t stand for it!
That’s the message NYSNA Board Member and St. Luke’s-Roosevelt RN Gwen Lancaster took to lawmakers on Wednesday at the Joint Legislative Public Hearing for the Executive Budget.
The governor and the Department of Health are trying to water down our state’s Certificate of Need process -- and launch a experimental for-profit healthcare “pilot project.” Brooklyn patients will be their first guinea pigs.
“We believe the redesign will make it easier for large, private hospitals and hospital chains or systems to cut health services to already-underserved communities, and will shift the burden of caring for patients who rely on these services, to our state's already over-extended public and community hospitals,” Lancaster told the hearing.
The Certificate of Need process gives communities and caregivers a voice when a hospital wants to buy up other hospitals or clinics, build new facilities, or cut existing services – and it stops big for-profits and bankers from operating hospitals in New York.
Gwen also expressed NYSNA’s grave concerns the Governor’s proposal allowing home health aides to administer medications and perform functions within an RN’s scope of practice.
Gwen told the hearing about her own facility, where administrators used Hurricane Sandy as an excuse to shut down a pediatrics unit. The Harlem community didn’t get a say.
That’s the kind of unaccountable, unilateral action we’ll see more of it the governor and the healthcare chains get their way.
Gwen also spoke personally of NYSNA’s fight to win legislation setting safe nurse to patient ratios.
“In 1989, the nurses at St. Luke’s Hospital went on strike because of dangerous staffing ratios,” Gwen said. “I was one of those nurses. That same fight for our patients continues today.”
For Gwen’s full testimony, CLICK HERE.