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Md.'s psychiatric hospitals need beds

Robert Neall, 69, a former lawmaker and Anne Arundel County executive, was recently appointed Maryland's health secretary. file photo
Robert Neall, 69, a former lawmaker and Anne Arundel County executive, was recently appointed Maryland's health secretary. file photo (Pamela Wood / Baltimore Sun)

I am pleased that Health Secretary-designate Robert R. Neall is advocating for additional beds in our psychiatric hospitals (“Maryland unveils plan to add beds in psychiatric hospitals,” Jan. 23). The need is so great, and it will be a start in leveling the playing field with other medical diagnoses.

However, I am skeptical about what Gov. Larry Hogan will allow for an appropriate staffing budget. As a retired nurse, I applaud the courageous but difficult work of psychiatric practitioners. I hope that Secretary Neall will hold Governor Hogan's feet to the fire when it comes to his promised funding. I hope that the funding is sufficient to hire an adequate staff of certified nursing assistants and registered psychiatric nurses.

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Sufficient staffing is paramount to make this effort successful.

Mary Edwards, Baltimore

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