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Prince George’s County Council Vice Chair Wala Blegay (D-District 6) has introduced legislation to address high nurse-to-patient ratios in the county.
“In our County, emergency rooms are crowded, wait times are too long, and there are concerns about the impact of inadequate staffing of nurses and other health professionals, on the patient’s overall experience and care. I am committed to ensuring significantly improving working conditions for nurses and patient health outcomes in Prince George’s County.”
Blegay, an attorney who has represented the D.C. Nurses Association, represents a central county district. Her district includes the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center. Since opening, this hospital has faced long wait times and low customer reviews. Health care workers at the medical center protested staffing shortages last year.
“Other hospitals are experiencing short staffing but I believe it’s not in the way [as] it is here at Capital Region,” 1199SEIU Vice President Taren Peterson said.
Council Bill 13 would authorize the Board of Health, run by the County Council, to collect data on nurse-patient ratios, submit findings to the County Council and reporting said findings to legislative leaders such as Governor Wes Moore (D) and Speaker Adrienne Jones (D) to use Prince George’s County as an example of how to reduce nurse-patient ratios.
According to a hospital review, the average wait time in a Maryland emergency room ( three hours and 48 minutes) are the longest wait times in the nation.