For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext 353
BUFFALO, NY, Nov. 9, 2010 – Registered nurses employed by Erie County say the 2011 budget proposed by County Executive Chris Collins will continue to make drastic cuts in health services.
The nurses are among the 1,000 RNs at the Erie County Health Department, Medical Center, and County Home who are represented by the New York State Nurses Association.
They said that cuts in last year’s budget resulted in the closing of the last two county public health clinics, which averaged 22,000 visits per year, serving the community’s most vulnerable residents.
This year’s cuts would eliminate the personnel necessary to run vital programs that:
Some of these programs are state mandated and require an RN to be on duty.
Collins is also proposing cuts in health response personnel in county offices that have high public traffic. These RNs deal with more than 200 diabetes, cardiac, asthma, and injury emergencies per year.
Other cuts could interrupt continuity of care at the Youth Detention Center and further erode health services provided at the Erie County Holding Center, which after three recent deaths is now being monitored by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The RNs want to know: Will county officials act responsible manner to the public they serve and dedicate the refund of nearly $12 million in Medicaid funds back into health care or will they continue to waste taxpayer dollars?
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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