New York hospital suspends nonemergency surgeries, cites staff shortage

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Olean (N.Y.) General Hospital has suspended nonemergency surgeries because of staff shortages, The Bradford Era reported Oct. 26.

Surgeries of "urgent and emergent cases" will still be performed.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said in September that she would consider asking the National Guard for help during staffing shortages.

The hospital had been offering higher compensation and signing bonuses to attract more staff, and had been using staffing agencies, the article said.

An appeal for help is expected Oct. 27.

"This decision is not made lightly, but the current inpatient conditions warrant immediate action. This step is also essential to be eligible to ask the state for additional staffing assistance," said Jill Owens, MD, interim chief medical officer at Upper Allegheny Health System, the parent company of Olean General Hospital.

Dr. Owens told the newspaper the hospital has enough beds but not enough staff. 

"We have requested staffing assistance for multiple areas from the state, but are not optimistic that help will be coming any time soon," Dr. Owens said.

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