SANTA FE, N.M. (KAMR/KCIT) — The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) announced the enactment of Crisis Standard of Care (CSC) for the state’s health care system.

Under CSC, the NMDOH said facilities statewide will use a more standardized and equitable procedure for making decisions about who gets care due to the volume of COVID-19 patients – whom the state said is mostly unvaccinated -exacerbating existing staffing and other resource shortages. In addition, before a facility reaches this point, they must temporarily suspend non-medically-necessary procedures.

“Because of COVID, New Mexico hospitals and health care facilities have carried an unmanageable burden. Today, the state is offering clarity and support as providers seek to make difficult choices about how to allocate scarce – and precious – health care resources. The goals, as always, remain the same: to save as many New Mexican lives as possible, and to help sustain the health care providers who have sustained our communities throughout this entire pandemic,” said DOH Acting Secretary David R. Scrase, M.D. 

The NMDOH said if hospitals need to move into CSC, the state will also extend limited legal liability coverage to providers who move to higher levels of care. NMDOH said it will offer a credentialing system for these providers in the coming days.

Dr. Scrase continues by saying that while CSC modifies hospital and health care facility procedures, patients should still seek the care they need.

“If you’re sick or think you might be, please, call your doctor,” said Dr. Scrase.