As I talk to many of you regularly about the issues hospitals face fulfilling their essential missions of care in their communities, the feeling I sense more than any other is frustration. Whether it is conflicting directives from state agencies or blame from a general public understandably exhausted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it can feel like no one is listening to us as we express the very urgent need for policies that support, rather than undermine, the vital work hospitals perform.
We share your frustration. For example, when I wrote two weeks ago about the extension past June 30 of the space and personnel space waivers that CHA is seeking from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), I fully expected we’d have seen some progress by now. As you know, these flexibilities are critical to the state’s current health care capacity. CDPH tells us every week they’re looking at extending the waivers, and every week, there is no resolution.
As a reminder, CHA is advocating for extending the waivers outlined in the following:
- California Department of Public Health space waiver in All Facilities Letter 20-26.12
- Emergency Medical Services Agency’s authority to approve out-of-state health care personnel
We will continue to do all we can to make sure you have these tools and others to fight the massive summer wave of COVID-19 infections that has already begun.
Please know that we understand, even if the state doesn’t, that this is just one of the many issues you are dealing with. Lack of action from those responsible at the state level for Californians’ health care can feel like a “death by 1,000 cuts.” My hope is that you know that Hospital Council and CHA continue to work hard to relay what you tell us you need to the highest offices at the federal, state, and local levels — and we will never stop advocating for you.