EMERGENCY ROOM CRISIS
According to a West Point resident and security supervisor over a number of local hospitals, he reports that our emergency rooms at our hospitals are facing their own crises. Emergency rooms are now being overwhelmed by people in substance abuse crises being admitted by law enforcement officers for immediate treatment. My wife and I spent a couple hours ourselves at the McKay Dee Hospital emergency room in Ogden in mid-July when my wife experienced difficulties breathing (she's ok now). She was informed by a nurse that just the day before there had been a four-hour wait to receive emergency services. While there my wife also discovered a number of black uniformed personnel there who staffed the behavioral psychological unit housed in the same building. According to this West Point resident, one recently admitted patient under the influence and brought in by the police at a local hospital was stabilized and then sent to another hospital where he went out of control and caused $18,000 in property damage by himself.
Apparently, with the shift from criminalization of illicit drug activity and abuse to a new focus on medical treatment, it appears that needed funding for treatment hasn't followed accordingly. Perhaps, it's time to take another look at how the State Legislature is spending our taxpayer dollars when it comes to building more prisons and jails while at the same time directing our law enforcement officers to divert people who are caught under the influence and abusing drugs from lock-ups to hospitals. We can't expect our emergency rooms around our State and the hard working doctors and nurses with the same level of resources and treating the other life and death medical crises without additional resources and support to cope with this new additional burden of patients. We have apparently created a new crisis in our medical crisis rooms.