LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) --
Gov. Brian Sandoval called on legislators to release money for southern Nevada’s troubled psychiatric facility faster than originally scheduled.
Last month the Joint Commission issued a denial of accreditation for Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital.
Some of this money would go to improvements that could help the facility get reaccredited. The Interim Finance Committee voted unanimously on Tuesday to allocate $2.1 million to hire staff and expand services.
Sandoval's Chief of Staff Gerald Gardner testified before the committee saying the demand for services continues to jump.
"The Governor, who has been engaged in these issues from day one, believes it would be unthinkable to wait even a day longer than necessary to move forward on the state plan," said Gardner.
The committee voted unanimously to spent $2.1 million to hire staff and expand services.
Dr. Lesley Dickson with the Nevada Psychiatric Association testified that money should be spent on upping state psychiatrists salaries who are overworked and underpaid.
"It’s frightening," said Dickson. "You worry about your patients. You worry about your own self. You worry about your liability and you leave. You go find a job where you feel more comfortable."
As for capital projects, legislators didn't want to put money into Rawson-Neal that was allocated for life safety upgrades for Lake's Crossing in northern Nevada.
"I recognize the need for additional dollars for mental health services in southern Nevada," said Assemblyman Andy Eisen. "I've been singing that tune for a long time, but I don’t think that it’s appropriate to do that by taking the money away from an essential project in northern Nevada."
Even though upgrades to a building on the campus of Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health Service would alleviate some of the pressure in the north, Assemblyman Andy Eisen says there isn't enough money to do it all immediately.
"The question is the dollars and where are the dollars coming from?" asked Eisen, a doctor himself. "The proposal that was brought forth today by the administration was not to increase the amount of dollars going into the system, but simply to move them from place to another and we didn’t agree with doing that."
The committee took no action on funding for capital projects, but will address the issue when it meets on August 29 in Carson City.
The Governor's office did not provide a comment after the meeting.
The State Democratic Party provided this statement:
"From the beginning of this scandal, Brian Sandoval has lied to Nevadans because he cares more about covering himself politically than fixing Nevada's broken healthcare system," wrote spokesman Zach Hudson. "Brian Sandoval’s one and only priority during this scandal has been to sweep his own mismanagement and severe cuts to Nevada’s healthcare system under the rug. We again ask the Governor: if Rawson-Neal's loss of accreditation was based on outdated information, as he has insisted, why was today's emergency measure even necessary?"