Health professionals seek aid from National Guard
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- As hospitals continue to intake COVID-19 patients as cases surge and staffing problems linger, healthcare professionals believe deploying the National Guard would help alleviate the pressures.
Neighboring states such as Connecticut and Massachusetts have already deployed the National Guard to their hospitals as they face the same problems Rhode Island faces.
Dr. Jeremiah Schuur, Physician-in-Chief of Emergency Medicine for Lifespan, and Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, spoke to ABC6 News about the problems hospitals are facing,
“I think the major point we’re trying to get out to the public is that our hospital system is extremely stressed. The primary issue is the staffing crisis that has been growing for the past several months.”
Dr. Schuur also explains that due to the staffing shortage, many of the staff are being pulled from seeing patients to do non-clinical work. Having the extra staffing with the aid from the National Guard would help them in observing and transporting patients, which would allow the hospitals in delivering care, and allow physicians to see more patients.
As of right now, Governor McKee’s office says talks about deploying the National Guard are ongoing.
Governor McKee and The Rhode Island Department of Health are holding a COVID-19 press briefing on Thursday, December 30.