Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday signed an executive order related to the disbursement of personal protective equipment and ventilators:
“Any medical equipment (personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, respirators, bi-pap, anesthesia, or other necessary equipment or supplies as determined by the Commissioner of Health) that is held in inventory by any entity in the state, or otherwise located in the state shall be reported to DOH. DOH may shift any such items not currently needed, or needed in the short term future by a health care facility, to be transferred to a facility in urgent need of such inventory, for purposes of ensuring New York hospitals, facilities and health care workers have the resources necessary to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and distribute them where there is an immediate need. The DOH shall either return the inventory as soon as no longer urgently needed and/or, in consultation with the Division of the Budget, ensure compensation is paid for any goods or materials acquired at the rates prevailing in the market at the time of acquisition, and shall promulgate guidance for businesses and individuals seeking payment.”
Cuomo first proposed the idea at a press conference on Friday, drawing the ire of Western New York elected leaders and medical professionals.
The language of the executive order is different than what the governor first pitched in that it softens the language of terms of transfer. At the press conference, the governor said the National Guard could be utilized to transfer the medical equipment. Here, it states “DOH may shift any such items not currently needed.”
On Tuesday, Cuomo said other states had pledged to send ventilators to New York.
In response to Cuomo’s executive order, Kaleida Health President and CEO Jody Lomeo said, “The governor’s executive order ensures a real-time solution for all hospitals and health care systems in New York state. By working together, we are making sure that we are taking care of one another during this public health crisis.
“Having a collaborative inventory plan ensures that personal protective equipment and supplies are available for everyone, regardless of geography. And they only move when an urgent need arises or an apex occurs. This strikes the right balance for hospitals and health systems while giving the state a much-needed real-time inventory of equipment and supplies necessary to fight COVID-19. So, this should give great comfort to the physicians, nurses and staff who are battling the coronavirus in our hospitals, throughout the community or anywhere else in the state.
“We have said all along that Kaleida Health would do everything possible to help parts of the state being disproportionately harmed by the coronavirus. We want to do all that we can to support them, while at the same time protecting the health and well-being of our patients and staff here in Western New York.
“In particular, we want to thank the governor for his leadership during this monumental crisis. We will continue to work with the state, our local and federal officials, plus the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) and Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) on the fight against the coronavirus. By fighting this pandemic together, we will be victorious.”
Find the governor’s executive order HERE.