Mass. nurses call opioid bill a 'disservice'

The Massachusetts Nursing Association called a provision of the governor's opioid bill a "disservice" to the patients with addiction it aims to serve.

The provision in question would allow physicians to involuntarily hospitalize patients with addiction for up to 72 hours without a court order. The MNA says this provision is alarming for emergency departments and nurses.

"Our emergency departments are already overcrowded with patients suffering from mental health conditions due to the lack of beds and services in the system," MNA President Donna Kelly-Williams said in a statement. "In fact, one study, conducted by the state's Mental Health Advisory Committee in 2013 found that more 40,000 patients with mental health conditions are boarding in our hospital EDs each year, waiting for several hours to several days for appropriate care and services. The addition of thousands of patients suffering from addiction will only exacerbate this crisis."

According to Ms. Kelly-Williams, dumping those suffering from mental illness and addiction into an already overburdened ED is a bad policy and a disservice to patients in need.

 

More articles on integration and physician issues:

UMass medical school adjusts curriculum to address opioid abuse
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Montana providers concerned about medical schools outpacing state residencies

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