State Rep. Nino Vitale (R-Urbana) issued a call to action Friday to ease restrictions and reopen hospitals and medical centers to elective surgeries in Ohio.
“My request is we allow the doctors and nurses in these fields to immediately open back up and treat Ohioans that need medical care, which is getting more and more critical by the day because of these restrictions,” Vitale wrote in an open letter.
The state of Ohio is currently under an extended stay-at-home order, which is set to end May 1. All but those businesses deemed essential are closed – but some lawmakers are starting to pressure DeWine to reopen the economy.
Vitale points out that even with the intensity surrounding the “C-19 situation,” medical professionals tell him “they are shut down, getting laid off, or unable to properly treat patients who have other critical care needs.”
“We cannot be so focused on one pandemic that we create 3 to 5 other health care pandemics,” he wrote; adding:
All health conditions are important, not just those with C19. We should also be gravely concerned about the health and welfare of people who have heart problems, lung problems, colon issues, prostate or bladder surgeries, and other conditions that are not C19 related. There are many Ohioans that are in desperate need of care, and their situations, which were not critical 3-4 weeks ago, are now critical according to the doctors and nurses contacting me. These Ohioans deserve care as well.
Vitale warned that Ohio could see a collapse in the state’s health infrastructure, with “up to 85% of doctors and practices, which are either days or a week from closing their doors permanently.”
“We must protect the health of our health care network,” he wrote.
DeWine has repeatedly said the stay-at-home order is saving lives and reopening businesses too soon could lead to an increase in cases just as the state is seeing progress.
Read the open letter:
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Samantha Witwer is a reporter at The Ohio Star.