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New Hospital Regulations Unveiled

California hospitals will be required to meet new nurse-to-patient staffing ratios starting at the end of this year, including strict requirements for burn and post-surgery patients.

The regulations were unveiled yesterday by state health regulators. They stem from a 1999 law that made California the first in the nation to mandate nurse-to-patient ratios for hospitals.

The Department of Health Services will take public comment on the regulations until July 17th.

Nurses say the regulations are a sensible way to improve patient care and working conditions for nurses. But hospital officials say the ratios will worsen the state´s current nursing shortage and warn it will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to implement.