ACHD applauds the Governor’s budget as it advances access to care for all Californians. Paramount to this goal are investments in workforce and infrastructure. To ensure that access to care in rural and underserved areas of the state remain, we believe the state should invest resources in district hospital infrastructure projects. This includes support for district hospitals to come into compliance with the looming 2030 seismic mandate. The state’s 32 district hospitals are part of the larger framework of public hospitals and will need state support to fund these costly projects. The Governor’s budget demonstrates the state’s commitment to emergency preparedness and safety, and we ask that some of the on-going budget surplus be allocated to support district hospitals for this purpose. Without access to additional resources, district hospitals will shutter services in their communities or close entirely.
Additionally, healthcare districts have long standing workforce and staffing challenges that have been exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic and appreciate the Governor’s investments in workforce, including career pathways and the “care economy”. These are critical investments in California’s future health care workforce. We recognize significant and often systemic barriers to bolstering the health care workforce remain, especially for providers who operate in rural and remote areas of the state. It is our hope that in tandem with these investments that will ensure an adequate supply of health professionals long term, the Administration and the Legislature also recognize the acute staffing shortages facing healthcare providers today.
Finally, we support the Governor’s robust investments in a number of other health care initiatives including, behavioral health, children’s and women’s health, universal coverage and coronavirus response. It is our pleasure to work with the Administration and Legislature on these policies as they relate to the health and success of California’s communities, and we look forward to addressing long-term solutions for workforce shortages and infrastructure challenges.