New Mexico on Monday cleared the way for hospitals to ration care if needed, saying the state health system has yet to see a delay as the nursing shortage continues and so many non-COVID-19 patients and those who have postponed Treatment for the last year is now filling hospital beds.
Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. David Scraze said hospitals have been manipulating patients with fewer resources since the outbreak of the pandemic, and the order he signed establishes a “fair procedure” for making tough decisions.
He said hospitals can suspend procedures that are not medically necessary if they do not have the capacity, he explained, explaining that some patients may face delays in providing care depending on which hospitals are required to apply crisis standards. treatment and for how long. Individual providers will decide what procedures are needed.
During the briefing, officials shared maps showing that even the most populous area of the state has only two intensive care beds available.
“We’re in dire shape in New Mexico,” said Scraze, adding that the introduction of anti-crisis standards does not mean that people should not seek help.
State officials have also pushed for more people to either get the vaccine or get boosted, as the rate still hovers just below 72% in New Mexico. About 5% of the state’s adult population received the vaccine.
In Albuquerque, a proposal is being made that city police officers and first aid workers must be vaccinated or face dismissal. Those with exceptions will be required to show evidence of a negative test result for COVID-19 every week.
Elected officials in New Mexico’s largest city have already admitted that police and the fire and rescue department were overwhelmed even before the pandemic began with persistent violent crime, skyrocketing homelessness and other calls. Union members were expected to oppose this measure.
The sponsor of the measure, Democratic City Councilor Isaac Benton, did not respond to questions ahead of Monday’s council meeting about the possible repercussions or how the city could fill any emergency services gaps that may arise.
Mayor Tim Keller’s office issued a statement Monday that the city is actively encouraging vaccinations for all who are eligible and has made testing and vaccinations as affordable as possible. The office also noted that a number of state and federal laws must be considered in adopting or implementing such a mandate, and that the city’s legal department is reviewing it.
The push for mandatory vaccinations among public security workers in Albuquerque is fueled by police and fire unions, as well as individual officers and first responders across the United States, resisting by filing mandate blocking lawsuits.