On November 6, Massachusetts voters will take to the polls once again.
On that ballot will be Question 1. Controversy surrounding Question 1, which would set a limit on the number of patients a single nurse can be assigned at any given time, continues to intensify among many health organizations.
Friday morning, dozens of medical professionals and community members met in Springfield to discuss the impact that Question 1 could have.
The forum also featured rising health care costs, and was presented by the Springfield Regional Chamber in partnership with the Greater Easthampton and Chicopee chambers of commerce.
22News anchor Tamara Sacharczyk served as emcee.
One health care official told 22News she’s concerned with misleading information voters might receive.
“The hospitals in Boston and hospitals in western Mass see a different type of patient and for all of us to have the same rigid ratio is unfair and unrealistic,” said Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for Mercy Medical Center, Francis Marthone. “It’s not good for the patients it’s not good for the community.”
On the other hand, nurses unions say that if passed, Question 1 would provide more safety and better quality of care for patients.
Panelists at the forum also said there is currently a shortage of nurses in the state, and added that locally, Baystate Medical Center in Springfield is in need of more than 200 nurses.