Sunday, March 10, 2019




Putnam Hospital Center condemns cuts in Medicaid

Participants call for continued funding

CARMEL – Health care in New York State is facing a $550 million reduction in Medicaid funding amounting to a loss of more than $1 billion when factoring in Federal matching dollars.

Realizing the detrimental affect such drastic cuts would have on Putnam Hospital Center and its parent Health Quest network, a rally was held at the hospital Thursday attended by more than 100 medical professionals and hospital administration in addition to healthcare workers and nurses from unions 1199 United Healthcare Workers East and the New York State Nurses Association to protest the finding reductions.

“To take money from Medicaid is ludicrous. If the money is not there, patients will still get sick and will need care. Where will they wind up? In emergency rooms which will turn into a vicious cycle,” said hospital President Peter Kelly. “Hopefully, the governor and members of the New York State Legislature will find a way to not take money from Medicaid coffers and allow a healthcare system which is struggling already to move ahead and care for patients.”

Greg Speller, Local 1199 executive vice president, echoed Kelly’s comments describing the proposed reductions as “devastating for hospitals, nursing homes and health systems to deliver quality care and services to their patients and communities.”

Speller noted that unions and hospital administration “stand on common ground regarding this potential disaster. Cuts are not smart. They are not good for our patients or for services provided.”

Two hospital employees also addressed the rally. Gail Johnson, a respiratory therapist for almost two decades, said “families count on our hospital to provide care and services when they need it most. Here at PHC, patients are always placed first. Our lawmakers in Albany must make their constituents and the health of our communities a top priority.”

Nicole Lynch, a patient care technician, agreed that “cuts cut us to the bone. Patients are our family. We have the voice that can and must be heard.”

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