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Legislature sends guv plan to eliminate hospital emergency room overcrowding
August 29, 2012
Doctors back Sen. Ted W. Lieu’s public-health measure
SACRAMENTO – Hospital emergency-room patients would receive better medical care under a doctor-supported plan to reduce crowding approved this week by the Legislature and sent to Gov. Brown.
“Overcrowding in California hospitals is a threat to the health and safety to all of us,” said Sen. Ted W. Lieu about the need for Senate Bill 336, which passed both houses with bipartisan support. “This common-sense, public-health measure simply would require hospitals with emergency rooms to have written, established response plans on how patient care will be provided should an emergency room become so crowded it hurts the delivery of medical care.”
Lieu cited 2006 research showing California has an average of 6.1 hospital emergency rooms for every 1 million residents. The national average, by comparison, is nearly 19.9 ER rooms for every 1 million residents.
“The result is California’s ratio of emergency rooms to patients is the worst in the country,” Lieu said. “Too many sick or injured patients have to sit in an emergency room for up to eight, 12 hours or more before a physician can treat them.
“This means higher mortality rates – and longer, more expensive hospital stays.”
SB 336 is sponsored by the California Chapter of American College of Emergency Physicians and supported by the California Medical Association.
For more, including a Fact Sheet on this measure, visit Lieu’s Web site below.
Ted W. Lieu chairs the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee and represents nearly 1 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Torrance, as well as portions of Long Beach and Los Angeles, including Venice and San Pedro. For more, visit www.senate.ca.gov/lieu