OLYMPIA - The Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) wrote an open letter requesting that Gov. Jay Inslee and Secretary of State Umair Shah, MD officially declare Washington in a state of crisis. WSMA wants action to be taken regarding overworked hospitals and healthcare.
“Our emergency departments are overrun, our hospitals are full,” said the letter. “We are emotionally and physically exhausted.”
They mention the practice taken by many hospitals since the beginning of COVID-19: limiting all non-emergent care. While physicians have not loved turning away elective cases, they have continued to do so for the past two years. The letter cites that the negative impacts of this practice are apparent now, and is not even freeing up enough room in the hospitals to be beneficial.
WSMA requests continued or increased incentives for long-term care providers who are serving discharged patients. They also want a higher budget allocation for patient transition facilitation, and assistance from the National Guard across non-clinical services amidst staffing shortages. Lastly, WSMA wants discharge barriers to be immediately addressed, allowing for faster transfers and discharges when the family agrees.
WSMA is urging Inslee and Shah to take direct action in these ways in order to alleviate the stress across overworked hospitals and care facilities in the state.