State Rep. Ben Frederick today urged Gov. Whitmer to allow Michigan hospitals to perform elective surgeries, procedures and necessary care which have been halted by Executive Order since March 21. Many hospitals, medical centers and other essential medical providers are facing dire financial hardships and inability to serve patients in need due to the coronavirus restrictions.
“There are many residents and healthcare providers from mid-Michigan who have contacted me concerned that what may be routine or elective today may lead to dire consequences down the road,” said Frederick, of Owosso. “I’ve heard from those facing chronic pain, recurring tumors and injuries requiring physical therapy before permanent damage who have had needed tests and procedures put on hold. Patients are in desperate need of care in ways not related to COVID-19, and medical care facilities are on the brink of closure – already laying off hundreds of workers because they aren’t allowed to help. I’ve also heard from medical professionals concerned that publicized restrictions are keeping those who may require emergency care from delaying a visit. The governor should allow our medical providers to reopen safely provided the facility has the protective equipment and staffing needed to meet the medical needs of our people.”
Frederick said the problem is not limited to hospitals and urgent care centers. Primary care providers, eye care, dental care, and many other medical professions are also unable to provide necessary medical care. Furthermore, many health care offices and hospitals have high overhead expenses to pay for specialty equipment and office space; expenses that do not go away when the doors close.
To ensure a balanced approach to the governor’s restrictions moving forward, Frederick joined his colleagues today in creating a bipartisan oversight committee to review new and existing executive orders issued by the governor during the coronavirus outbreak and help address any issues that arise due to their implementation.
The Joint Select Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic will include five legislators each from the House and the Senate. Frederick said its existence will maintain the involvement of the Legislature and its role as a conduit to the people it represents as recovery plans are developed and mitigation strategies explored.