Nurses, Community Residents to Deliver Petition to Kaiser Manteca Wed-Call to Restore Vital Services
Nurses and Kaiser Permanente members will deliver a petition of more than 300 signatures to the Kaiser Manteca Medical Center Wednesday calling on Kaiser to bring back critical diagnostic services cut earlier this year.
The petitions also call on Kaiser to re-open the hospital’s third floor to admit patients from the Emergency Room or following surgery, and to stop denying admission to patients in need of longer term recovery services in the second floor sub-acute unit.
What: Petition Delivery, “Keep Manteca Safe! Kaiser, Don’t Close Our Hospital”
When: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 11 a.m.
Where: Kaiser Manteca Medical Center Main Entrance
1777 W. Yosemite Ave., Manteca CA
“These closures are scaring me,” Jacqueline Rudy who moved with her husband Dennis to to the Manteca retirement community of Woodbridge-Del Webb, largely because of its proximity to the Manteca Kaiser hospital six years ago. “Dennis was admitted in Manteca before, but this year he has already been transferred by ambulance several times to Modesto. Now they say, ‘We can’t handle it here.”
Many retirees, such as Mrs. Rudy, cannot make the long drive to Modesto, especially at night and on a pair of very busy freeways, and they are unable to stay by their loved one’s side as they recuperate, nurses note.
“We need a fully functional hospital in Manteca,” said Ruth Somera, who has been a nurse in the facility for 18 years, the last 10 years while under Kaiser management. “These are basic services that any well-run hospital should have. Our patients’ care is being delayed and disrupted.”
Manteca resident and Kaiser Modesto intensive care unit nurse Amy Glass said the cuts have created a bottleneck at the Emergency Room entrance at the Kaiser Manteca hospital leading to a domino effect on ambulances throughout San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.
“We have spoken with emergency room nurses, firefighters, paramedics, emergency medical technicians and patients about the impacts,” Glass said. “Patients are often experiencing long wait times waiting to simply be admitted to the ER. Ambulances are tied down outside the hospital – they call it ‘wall time’ – either waiting to have their patients admitted or being used to transfer patients to and from Modesto. Firefighters have had to wait as long as 16 minutes at a Code Three emergency for an ambulance to arrive. That is unacceptable.”
Kaiser RNs are inviting local residents to “support our efforts to ensure that patients receive the hospital care you deserve when you or your family members are ill.” Residents who have been wrongly denied care can email the RNs at email@example.com.
- Services Taken Away from Kaiser Manteca Medical Center include:
- Maternity — Maternity patients transferred to Kaiser Modesto.
- Cardiology — No stress test on treadmill. Limited Echocardiogram to diagnose heart problems. Cardiologist moved to Kaiser-Modesto.
- Radiology — No ultrasound services after 5:00 pm, patients who need emergency ultrasound after hours have to be transferred out to other hospitals.
- Orthopedic — No shoulder, knee and hip replacement services.
- Interventional Radiology — All interventional radiology services transferred to Kaiser Modesto facility.
- Pediatric — Pediatric patients are transferred to far away hospitals.
- Gastrointestinal Services — No colonoscopy and endoscopy for in-patients here in Manteca, GI specialist moved to Kaiser Modesto. Services Taken Away from Kaiser Manteca Medical Center:
- Closure of Medical Surgical Unit — An entire hospital floor has been closed, greatly reducing the number of hospital beds.
- Closure of Observation Unit — Emergency department cannot admit patients to observation unit, and has to transfer patients to Modesto against their wishes.
- Gradual Closure of Sub-acute Unit — Kaiser has continued gradual closure of sub-acute unit (2nd floor) since January 2013.
Delay in Emergency Response Times to Local Community:
- Local ambulance companies are occupied in multiple transfers (2,000 during the last nine months) from Kaiser Manteca leading to delay in response times for real emergencies in the community.