Aj Congress Urges ‘blue Ribbon’ Committee to Probe Nursing Homes

The American Jewish Congress has urged Governor-elect Hugh Carey to impanel a “blue ribbon” state investigative commission to probe alleged “corruption and. mismanagement of nursing homes and the resulting degradation of aged and infirm patients. In a letter to New York’s next Governor, released today, Naomi Levine, executive director of the AJ Congress, referred to a study of proprietary nursing homes which the AJ Congress issued last July along with recommended reforms.

The letter stressed the need for “strong laws to protect the patients in nursing homes…effective enforcement of the laws that already exist” and the “need to bring to justice those who have misused government funds and victimized the aged and infirm.”

The letter urged Carey “to appoint a blue ribbon Moreland Act investigative commission…to undertake a major investigation of the nursing homes in this state.” Under the Moreland Act–Section 6 of the Executive Law of New York State –such a panel would have the power to subpoena witnesses, take testimony under oath and require the production of books and papers.

The AJCongress study of nursing home care in New York State found that “thousands of patients suffer from indifferent treatment and disregard of their human needs; that medical services they receive are perfunctory, the nursing care criminal, the personal attention often non-existent, and that government agencies are almost lackadaisical in their supervision, despite their heavy financial involvement.”

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