Press Release

Despite Reserves, San Mateo County Proposes Crippling 15% Healthcare Budget Cut

For Immediate Release                                                   
March 28, 2011

Tuesday: Nurses to Protest at Board of Supervisors Meeting

Registered nurses from the California Nurses Association will join local patients this Tuesday, March 29 to protest as the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors meets to consider a 15 percent healthcare budget cut that would devastate the county’s healthcare safety net.
WHAT: Nurses Protest San Mateo County Healthcare Budget Cuts
WHEN: Tuesday, March 29, 12:30 p.m.
WHERE: 400 County Center, Redwood City, CA

The county’s cuts would significantly degrade healthcare in the region. Long-term effects are impossible to quantify, but some of the first areas hurt would be:

  • 180 emotionally disturbed children will lose mental health services
  • 1,000+ elderly and disabled residents will have community programs reduced or cut
  • 260 non-violent drug offenders will lose substance abuse treatment
  • 1,300 disabled and at-risk children will have services reduced
  • 250 children will have early intervention services eliminated
  • 6 dedicated acute psychiatric bed will be eliminated in the medical center

These cuts come despite the fact that over the last five years, the overall healthcare budget has shrunk by 5 percent, during which time some 22,000 county residents have lost their employer-based health insurance due to layoffs.
“These cuts are unnecessary and will devastate our county health system,” said Anna Wilson, an RN in the inpatient psych unit. “Patients will suffer needlessly. We have over $300 million in our county reserve, and promises from the federal government for a 2-to-1 match. Facilities are already stretched too thin and care is suffering. Why would the county push these draconian cuts now? The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors must say no these cruel cuts.”