Press Statement of Debbie White, RN on NJ Governor Phil Murphy’s Budget Address

As New Jersey enters into the budget season, unionized health professionals applaud initiatives proposed by Governor Murphy to raise revenues by shifting some of the tax burden on wealthy individuals while also investing in funding NJ’s public pension system, lowering costs in State Health Benefits and investing in public programs.  HPAE members look forward to working with his administration and the legislature to find ways New Jersey can also do more to invest in public healthcare services that promote and protect the health and well-being of all.

While we applaud the Governor’s commitment to maintain charity care funding levels across the state, the State must reevaluate its commitment to sustaining University Hospital, NJ’s only public acute care hospital. During the previous administration, the hospital was separated from what was known as UMDNJ, leaving the hospital to stand on its own without the financial resources and direction needed to promote University Hospital as New Jersey’s premier level one trauma center.  UH provides services to lower income communities, predominately people of color, who already face healthcare disparities.  We need to reverse the deliberate deterioration that was and continues to be a result of a lack of investment.

NJ must do better to improve its only public hospital and takes steps to ensure patient safety at UH and in every health facility across NJ.