Nurses to HMO Giant Kaiser: Nurses and Patients Shall Not Be Scrooged!
California Nurses Association Press Release, 12/18/13
Protest March and Rally Thursday 11:30 am
Nurses Celebrate Holidays with Protest at HMO Kaiser Headquarters
Registered Nurses from Kaiser facilities throughout Northern California will gather in downtown Oakland Thursday to celebrate the holiday season with a protest rally outside Kaiser Headquarters. The celebration begins with with caroling and a toy and food drive at the headquarters of the California Nurses Association, followed by a march to Kaiser Headquarters for a protest rally. The California Nurses Association represents 17,800 RNs that work at Kaiser medical facilities in California.
RNs are protesting numerous Kaiser policies, including restrictions and denials of patient care throughout the system, exemplified by the closure of Kaiser Hayward's in-house pediatrics unit on November 17 and the slow death of Kaiser Manteca, which suffered a drastic reduction in vital services during the past year. These cuts and consolidation in services cause hardship to Kaiser patients and their families, who are forced to travel longer distances to access hospital services, and care for family members at home who have been denied access or prematurely released from the hospital.
"Forcing patients out of the hospital places a triple burden on women," said Patty Bellasalma, President of the National Association of Women (NOW). "We have to work, do most of the childcare and parent care and then when our family members are most ill and need hospitalization thaey will be sent home; leaving again us to manage it all. With over two billion in profits the HMO giant should support real nursing care and the people who provide that care, the nurses," said Bellasalma, who will also be joining the RNs on Thursday.
What: Nurses and National Organization of Women Hold Protest Rally
When: Thursday, December 19, 11:30 a.m.
Where: March starts from California Nurses Association Headquarters, 2000 Franklin Street, Oakland, CA
“We see our fragile patients sent home before they are ready to go and then they have to be re-admitted," said Nicole Green, mother of three and Cardiac Procedure Unit RN at Kaiser San Francisco. "Patients deserve the care they need. They shouldn’t be forced to go home or wait in the Emergency Department,” said Green.
“Six out of ten people in California who have healthcare have Kaiser," said Cyndi Krane, RN, Kaiser Santa Rosa. "As nurses, we're deeply disturbed by the denial and decreased access to care. We cannot be silent when Kaiser Executives wrongly send our most vulnerable home before their full recovery,” said Krane.
As both an insurance company and a hospital chain, Kaiser has increased its profits by reducing patient services, especially hospital care. This year Kaiser is on track to make two billion dollars in profit and reports 95,000 new enrollments. RNs are protesting that despite these gains, Kaiser is restricting patient access, eliminating services and breaching contract agreements that guarantee safe staffing levels.
RNs are also celebrating that during the past year they joined with patients' families and community members to advocate for safe patient care and to protest:
Kaiser's policy of making it harder for patients to be admitted for hospital care when sick or injured and sending patients home or to other settings when they should still be in the hospital.
Kaiser's denial of care and closure of the in-house pediatrics unit at Kaiser Hayward, forcing 100,000 families served in Southern Alameda County to travel longer distances for their childrens' healthcare.
Drastic reductions in vital services at Kaiser Manteca Medical Center causing hardship to Manteca residents, including many Seniors, and delays in emergency response times as more and more patients are transferred to Modesto.
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