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Local healthcare workers protest lack of patient handling bill

Photo provided by Communications Workers of America (CWA)

Local healthcare workers protested outside the State Health Department office on Delaware Avenue Friday afternoon.

They held a picket against Albany's failure to pass a Safe Patient Handling bill. Healthcare workers -- who lift patients -- often suffer from back injuries. The bill would require hospitals and nursing homes to provide equipment to help lift patients.

Bill Nowak is with the healthcare coordinating committee of CWA District One. He says state lawmakers need to stop playing games with patient safety.

"Some of the hospitals downstate are fearful of the upfront expenses," Nowak said.  "There are provisions for grants from the Department of Health.  So, it's puzzling to us."

Healthcare workers are urging Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the Governor to pass the bill during an anticipated fall session in Albany.