The recently concluded state legislative session resulted in some important victories for NYSNA members and our patients beyond the hospital and nursing home staffing victories, including:
- Making local health equity assessments and plans a condition for DOH approval of hospital closures or reductions in services (A191A/S5474);
- Declaring racism a public health emergency and establishing a commission to make recommendation to address and correct the problem (A5679/S2987);
- Extending COVID accidental death benefits (line of duty) for public sector workers through 2022 (A3988/S4681); and,
- Establishing mandatory airborne infectious disease safety standards specific to all industries/settings and increasing worker’s rights to a safe workplace (NY Hero Act, A7477/S6768).
NYSNA was also able to stop several bills that threatened healthcare professional practice or patient safety, including:
- Proposed legislation to allow “community paramedicine” demonstration projects under which emergency services providers would provide community health services – this bill would allow EMTs and paramedics to provide services in non-emergency settings, and encroach on nursing practice (A151/S1590);
- Proposed legislation to allow summary suspensions of RN and other professional licenses without adequate due process protections (A5495/S4780); and
- Proposed legislation to regulate “retail clinics” located in commercial stores that would expand for-profit health care and undermine safety net hospitals and other providers (A216).
We made great progress in this year’s budget and legislative process, but there’s still work to do for healthcare justice. Stay tuned and sign up for NYSNA’s Political Action Team to get more involved!