2005 News

Hundreds of Nurses and Health Care Advocates will Converge on the

07.08.2005

Hearing will Focus on Competing Measures at the Center of a Heated Beacon Hill Debate over how to Address Patient Safety Problems in Mass. Hospitals

WHAT: As the quality and safety of patient care in Massachusetts hospitals continues to deteriorate due to chronic understaffing, hundreds of front-line nurses and health care advocates will converge on the State House on July 13 for a rally and public hearing on legislation to regulate RN-to-patient ratios in hospitals. The "Rally for Ratios" will be held in Nurses Hall beginning at 9:30 a.m., followed by a public hearing before the Joint Committee on Public Health in Room A1 at 10 a.m. The issue of how to best deal with the current crisis in patient safety in hospitals has been one of the most controversial and hotly debated issues on Beacon Hill, pitting the nurses and a coalition of 91 leading health care and consumer groups who support ratios up against the hospital industry, which is seeking to oppose the creation of a uniform staffing standard.

The Nurses' Bill, H. 2663, An Act Ensuring Patient Safety, has 106 co-sponsors, with a majority in both branches. It sets minimum standards for patient-to-nurse ratios that would be adjusted to reflect the types of hospital units and the severity of the patient conditions. The measure is designed to put an end to major disparities in care levels that now exist among the state's hospitals.

WHEN: Nurses' Rally for Ratios, July 13, 2005 from 9:30 a.m.–10 a.m.
Joint Committee on Public Health Hearing, July 13, 2005, beginning at 10 a.m.

WHERE: Nurses' Rally for Ratios, Nurses Hall, State House
Joint Committee on Public Health Hearing, Room A1

WHO: Testimony and speeches will be delivered by front-line nurses, allied health providers, consumer and health care advocates, citizens and legislators. Nurses and advocates will also be making visits to legislators. Members of the media may also interview, film or photograph nurses boarding buses from all areas of the state.

CONTACT: David Schildmeier, 781.249.0430, for more information, fact sheets on the bill, or to schedule interviews with nurses in your coverage area prior to or on the day of the hearing.

FPO