Nurse Staffing Ratios ‘Welcome,’ But Not ‘Cure’ for Health System, Press Democrat Editorial Says
Although the nurse staffing ratios announced yesterday by Gov. Gray Davis (D) serve as a "welcome addition," the governor "should have taken the opportunity" to address "inadequate funding" and "staffing woes," according to a Santa Rosa Press Democrat editorial. The editorial urges the public not to "confuse" the staffing ratios, which require one nurse per six patients in "medical surgery units," with a "cure for what ails health care." According to the Press Democrat, the cost of the new staffing ratios, about $400 million per year, will "be shoved back onto hospital administrators." In addition, the editorial points out that the new staffing ratios will "exacerbate the state's growing nursing shortage." The Press Democrat asks Davis to address "inadequate funding" for hospitals and the state's "growing nursing shortage," rather than "using the staffing minimums as leverage in his re-election bid." The editorial concludes, "Establishing ratios creates a fire wall, but it doesn't deal with the fire" (Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 1/24).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.