RN to Patient Ratios Update
Hospital Industry's Attempt to delay 1:5 ratios in Med/Surg
areas unsuccessful. SB 847 Aanestad (Hospital
Association) Bill defeated April 9, 2003
Today, the bill that would have delayed the implementation of the 1:5 nurse to patient ratio in med/surg was soundly defeated in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
Senator Sam Aanestad(R-California State Senate - 4th District) and the Hospital Association were in support of the bill and argued that there was a need to prove that the ratios should go from 1:6 to 1:5 before they were allowed to improve and that the hiring of RNs was too costly for the hospitals.
Malinda Markowitz, RN, representing CNA spoke against the bill.
Markowitz spoke eloquently and forcefully of the deleterious effects on patient care that delaying of the 1:5 ratios on Med/surg floors would have. Sheila Kuehl (D-Los Angeles Senate District 23) original author of the Safe Staffing Bill AB 394 argued against Senator Aanestad's bill as unnecessary and unworkable.
The Committee was not swayed by the hospital industry's well worn and redundant arguments against the staffing ratios and voted the bill down with little debate.