Advocates Call for New Independent Long-Term Care Ombudsman Office
During a legislative hearing on Tuesday, a group of advocates for seniors and local long-term care ombudsmen called for the creation of an independent statewide eldercare ombudsman office, California Watch Blog reports.
The Committee for an Independent State Office argued that the state Long-Term Care Ombudsman Joseph Rodrigues -- who is a political appointee operating within the state's Health and Human Services Agency -- has failed to serve as an effective advocate for seniors.
During the hearing, Linda Robinson -- an ombudsman program coordinator in Santa Cruz County -- said Rodrigues has attempted to curb eldercare advocates' media exposure and has failed to promote legislation that would benefit the elderly.
Rodrigues said he prefers the ombudsman office to remain a part of the state government, "as it provides us with resources we need to carry out our mandate."
He added that state officials have indicated that the state ombudsman office can increase its efforts to speak out on behalf of seniors (Jewett, California Watch Blog, 8/5).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.