Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced Monday his endorsement for Question 1, a November ballot question that proposes a strict nurse-to-patient ratio.
Dubbed the Patient Safety Act, Question 1 proposes setting a maximum limit on the number of patients assigned to a nurse at one time.
"When I was a kid battling cancer, it was the nurses who stood beside me every day, fighting with me for my life," Walsh said in a statement. "They are on the front lines protecting us when we are at our most vulnerable and they are supporting our families during the most difficult of times."
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The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission, which monitors hospital spending in the state and the delivery of health care, estimated that Question 1 would prompt hospitals to hire as many as 3,100 additional full-time registered nurses. The estimated annual cost to do so is between $676 million to $949 million.
"Voting yes on Question 1 will allow nurses to better provide the invaluable care they are trained to give and ensure that both nurses and patients are protected in safe work environments," Walsh said. "That is why I'm proud to stand with the nurses and vote yes on Question 1."
Walsh’s gubernatorial counterpart, however, opposed the proposition just last week.
"I'm going to vote no because the Health Policy Commission report raised three issues that I was frankly not aware of," Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said.
Baker stated that his opposition comes from Massachusetts already having a higher nurse-to-patient ratio than California, the high cost that the law would take and statements from his colleagues in healthcare claiming that many medical centers may be in jeopardy should the law pass.
The measure will be on the 2018 ballot for voters’ consideration. Election day is on Nov. 6.
Massachusetts voters can check their registration status here.