Doctors Med Center RNs, Healthcare Workers to Call on Board
‘We’re Losing our Community Hospital Piece by Piece’ Stop the Cuts
Registered nurses and other healthcare employees of Doctors Medical Center will call on the West Contra Costa County Healthcare District Board of Directors Wednesday to stop the escalating cuts at the San Pablo hospital and clinics and work with the nurses and other workers providing hands on care to find permanent solutions to save the community hospital.
Most immediate, the hospital, the largest health provider in West Contra Costa County which provides care for 15 percent of all indigent patients in the county, has threatened to close most of its in-patient medical and surgical beds, the latest in a series of cuts that endanger the future of the hospital.
“I've provided services to patients at Doctor’s Medical Center for 51 years,” says DMC RN Carol Sims. She notes that “38 of those years were in the women's center. But it was closed with a promise that essential services would continue. Now the surgical unit where I work is being closed. We are losing our community hospital piece by piece and it has to stop."
What: RNs, Healthcare Workers to Address Doctors Board of Directors
When: Wednesday, February 27, 4:30 p.m.
Where: Board Meeting, Auditorium
2000 Vale Rd., San Pablo
Dozens of RNs, members of the California Nurses Association, will be joined by other DMC employees, represented by the National Union of Healthcare Workers, NUHW-CNA, in addressing the board.
“I was born in this hospital. My family lives in this community. I have committed 29 years to serving patients in this community. The community has supported us with three special taxes. They deserve to be informed about the state of the hospital including the hospital’s intent to cut needed services,” says DMC RN Tami Roncskevitz.
Despite the passage of public parcel taxes, state loan guarantees and financial support from other hospitals in the county, DMC has been making reductions in patient services, such as the women’s center, and the current proposal to close the main Medical-Surgical hospital floor.
In addition, the hospital is threatening further cuts and the RNs and other employees warn hospital officials plan further stripping down to little more than emergency care, with no hospital attached. The end result, say RNs, would mean a $300 million loss to the community, and a major loss of critical healthcare services.
CNA and NUHW are calling for no cuts in patient services, no layoffs or other unwarranted reductions in employee standards, and say DMC and the board should work to address financial difficulties by eliminating top heavy management and unneeded management consultants, and additional waste, while securing additional revenue sources. They also call on the hospital and district to work with the RNs and hospital employees on long term solutions, such as greater involvement by the county health department and county hospital.