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State Should Make Data On Health Care Worker Shortages, Replacements Public

The state’s Surge and Flex Center is supposed to help nursing homes find solutions to staffing problems and to help nursing homes if they can’t meet their obligations under state law.

But, according to Sen. Sue Serino, R-Hyde Park, and the New York Post, nursing homes that called the center’s hotline number were told there were no employees available.

Given the public pronouncements by both former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Gov. Kathy Hochul that the state would help fill gaps created by the state’s vaccine mandates for health care workers, there is a lot of interest in seeing just how effective the state’s plan to keep health care facilities staffed has really been.

That’s why we back a proposal Serino introduced in the state Senate earlier this month. S.7437, which would require the state Health Department to post on its website the total number of people employed or affiliated with health care facilities, people who are no longer employed by the facilities, the number of requested personnel from the state Surge and Flex Operations Center and the number of people sent to health care facilities by the state. Serino’s bill calls for the information to be posted retroactively back to Aug. 16, 2021.

It’s information the public and lawmakers need to see. If the state’s program worked then people should be able to view the numbers. If it didn’t, the state should be forthcoming with the information so a better plan can be made.

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