PRINCETON, N.J., Dec. 3 The following is a statement by Betsy Ryan, President and CEO, New Jersey Hospital Association:
"State officials today announced that six New Jersey hospitals will share funding from the state's $44 million Healthcare Stabilization Fund. That's welcome news for those facilities, but the more sobering headline is the fact that several other fragile hospitals have been turned away. While a worthy effort, clearly the needs of New Jersey's hospitals exceed the amount available in the Stabilization Fund.
"This obviously is a very difficult position for a state struggling through a weak economy. But the fact remains that nearly half of the state's hospitals are losing money. We must ensure appropriate healthcare funding if we are to avoid adding more hospitals to the list of eight facilities that have closed their doors in the last two years.
"The stakes are high. Access to quality healthcare and thousands of jobs are at risk. In addition to providing care to the state's residents, hospitals and healthcare providers are the state's second largest employer. Hospitals alone employ close to 150,000 New Jerseyans. Hospital salaries and purchased goods and services pump more than $18 billion into the state's economy. In our current recession, we can't afford to lose those economic benefits, nor can our citizens afford to lose access to the hospital care they depend on.
"It will take discipline, hard work and a shared conviction to address these issues in the current economic climate. NJHA is working closely with our state legislators, DHSS Commissioner Heather Howard and the rest of the Corzine Administration to achieve appropriate healthcare funding in next year's state budget. Together, it's our job to preserve the healthcare services and economic benefits that hospitals bring to their communities."
SOURCE New Jersey Hospital Association