Updated: April 15, 2020 06:17 PM
Created: April 15, 2020 04:23 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Republican leaders in New Mexico sent a letter to the governor-- asking her to allow hospitals to provide more services.
They believe that would prevent hospital systems from furloughing health care employees and improve patient care.
Lovelace Hospital System and Christus St. Vincent in Santa Fe announced they have been forced to furlough employees because the governor is preventing hospitals from performing elective surgeries and providing other services.
"I think the definition of essential and non-essential needs to be reconsidered," said Republican state Rep. Rebecca Dow. "Hospitals are furloughing, people are being laid off and that is a critical concern when a health care worker, when we already have shortages are being disconnected from their workplace."
Dow is one of several Republicans who sent the letter to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, saying her policies are "placing New Mexico's rural hospitals in a serious financial situation in which they may not be able to recover."
The Republicans believe the governor's policies to create enough beds for COVID-19 patients is actually having "a negative impact on patient care."
"Just this weekend, I had two different constituents who had family members pass away," Rep. Dow said. " One was sick and could not be admitted because they had a fever. Whatever guidance they had, they could not admit them, and he died. The other was having a heart attack, and because he was having a heart attack, they did not have family members with them because of the coronavirus, and they were prohibited from giving advice, being an advocate, sharing their health records and that family member died as well."
In response to the letter, the governor's spokesman stated the Republicans have painted an inaccurate picture of the situation inside hospitals. He said their calls to open parts of the state is advocating for further spread of the virus.
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