The budget also supports 30 new full-time positions at the Department of Public Health, and dedicates $1 million for staffing to allow the Board of Pharmacy to hire inspectors to conduct new spot check of sterile compounding pharmacies after New England Compounding Center was cited for unsanitary conditions that led to this year’s meningitis outbreak.
Similar to the process used by the federal government when considering military base realignments and closures, Patrick is also proposing to create a Courts Re-Alignment Commission to study the potential for court closures and realignment to better meet the judiciary’s needs within the constraints of its budget. The commission would report to Trial Court Administrator Harry Spence, who would then act on the commission’s recommendations.
For all the spending increases, Mass Home Care spokesman Al Norman said the governor’s budget does nothing to reduce the wait list of 1,224 elderly residents seeking health attention at home. “We are now in our fourth straight year of home care waiting lists,” Norman said in a statement. “It’s becoming a chronic condition for us, like walking pneumonia. We had hoped the governor would cure the problem.”