Arizona Governor Considers Easing Elective Surgery Restrictions To Help Hospitals

By Holliday Moore
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 8:07am

Gov. Doug Ducey is considering loosening his order barring elective surgeries and allowing Arizona's struggling hospitals to resume scheduling non-essential procedures.

He made the directive last month to secure emergency supplies as hospitals brace for a peak in coronavirus cases expected later this month.

On Wednesday, he said, if hospitals have enough personal protective equipment, ventilators and beds, and more supplies on the way, he is open to helping medical industries hemorrhaging from the shutdown. But he says it won't happen all at once.

"I would think that this would be something where we would start with rural hospitals first and then, over a period of time, we would extend it into the urban core. And it would be as soon as I have data that gives me the confidence to make the decision."

A spokesperson for the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association estimates its members are losing up to 40% of their revenue each month under the restrictions — not only in elective surgery losses — but also a reduction in emergency surgeries from fewer car accidents on Arizona's empty roads.

For that, Ducey says he won't apologize.

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