Rep. Fields: ‘This bill provides relief for our hospitals, communities, and public safety forces’
ANCHORAGE – Friday, Rep. Zack Fields (D-Anchorage) introduced a bill that would require the State of Alaska to maintain a staff at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute capable of providing in-patient services for at least 55 people at a time.
Alaska is experiencing a public health crisis in behavioral health treatment that was prompted by years of mismanagement and underfunding of API.
“This bill would provide relief to our hospitals, communities, and public safety forces as they seek to help Alaskans experiencing behavioral health issues and people in need of addiction treatment,” Representative Fields said.
If the proposal is enacted, API will be adequately staffed thanks to a requirement for competitive compensation to help recruit and retain healthcare providers. This change would enable the state to win the fight for improved behavioral health treatment and addiction services, and would make our communities safer.