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Op-Ed: Ny State Needs An Emergency Mobilization To Rescue Health Care

08 Feb, 2022

Excerpt reprinted from the Buffalo News, by CWA Local 1168 President Cori Gambini and CWA District 1 Area Director Deb Hayes; click here to read the full piece.

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s State of the State pledge to invest $10 billion in higher wages for health care workers, improved hospital conditions and a more robust recruitment pipeline is a desperately needed set of measures for a health care system that is on the brink of collapse.

Omicron may cause milder individual cases than previous strains of Covid-19, but its extraordinary transmissibility has plunged hospitals, particularly in Western New York, into a horrific crisis. The protracted mental and emotional strain of the pandemic, dangerously low staffing levels, intensive care units again filled to the brim, shortages of supplies, and a sense of demoralization and hopelessness have made this the worst period of the past two years.

Workers are caring for double the number of patients that they normally would. Every day is filled with the horror and trauma of being unable to provide enough care to everyone that needs it. Patients are dying in our arms. Record numbers of Covid infections result in excruciating wait times for patients, who are often held in hallways because we have no available rooms.

The system is collapsing and hospital workers are being crushed. And make no mistake: If we allow this situation to continue, everything will come apart at the seams. The public’s ability to access the health care it needs, so long taken for granted, will cease to exist.

Click here to read the full piece by Cori Gambini, CWA Local 1168 President, and Deb Hayes, CWA District 1 Area Director.

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