TRENTON – A resolution sponsored by Senator Joseph F. Vitale which would provide for an independent study of New Jersey’s Emergency Medical Services was unanimously approved today by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.
“Our EMS system in New Jersey is absolutely vital to the continued health and well-being of the State,” said Senator Vitale, D-Middlesex, the Chairman of the Senate Health Committee. “The moments after the onset of severe medical trauma are crucial to the survival of the patient, and rapid and high-quality response is a must to improve the survival rate of what would otherwise be fatal illnesses. We should constantly be reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of our EMS, to know how to provide the best possible emergency response to medical crises in the Garden State.”
The bill, SJR-66, would provide for an independent study of the EMS system in New Jersey by a panel selected by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services. The study would:
– include a comprehensive review and assessment of EMS in New Jersey.
– identify emerging issues and problems in the delivery of EMS.
– review existing State and federal legislation regulating EMS.
– review the fiscal solvency of EMS in New Jersey, in light of changes to the federal reimbursement model under Medicare and Medicaid.
– make recommendations to ensure the efficiency and responsiveness of EMS in New Jersey.
The resolution would require the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, upon the completion of the study, to report to the Governor and the Legislature on the results of the study, and would include in that report any recommendations the Commissioner may deem appropriate.
“Our current EMS effectiveness relies heavily on the 25,000 dedicated volunteers and career emergency response providers, and we need to make sure we don’t put undue pressure on them because of a federal shortfall in funds,” said Senator Vitale. “At the same time, we need to provide for the continued viability of EMS in New Jersey, because of its absolute importance in providing a seamless emergency response in the face of medical crisis. I look forward to receiving the Commissioner’s recommendations, and working with all parties, including the First Aid Council and others, to maintain a highly qualified and rapid response to medical emergencies in the State.”
The bill now heads to the Senate floor for consideration.