RNs to Picket New Kaiser San Leandro Clinic Note Patient Care Services in Hayward Wonâ€™t be Replace
Registered nurses will picket the opening of Kaiser Permanente’s San Leandro clinic Monday, protesting the ongoing loss of pediatric care for Alameda County children with the closure last year of Kaiser’s Hayward children’s services, that will remain unfulfilled in San Leandro.
Kaiser RNs will be on hand in large numbers at 12:30 p.m. for a protest outside the San Leandro facility, 2500 Merced St., San Leandro. The RNs are members of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United.
The San Leandro is intended as a seismic replacement for Kaiser’s Hayward hospital. But, say the RNs, the new facility, even when fully opened in June, will be without the full range of hospital services formerly provided at Hayward.
Most especially, it will not provide pediatric care for sick children, or have an intermediate step down care unit, an important transitional care unit for patients just out of intensive care.
“When my child was sick, I was able to have her hospitalized in at Kaiser Hayward,” said Ashley Green, a local parent. “It upsets me that they would spend our premiums to build a hospital without a pediatric department.”
“We want children in our community here in San Leandro to have a hospital they can depend on if they get sick and need to be hospitalized,” says Kaiser Hayward Pediatrics RN April Johnson. “There is no reason with all the premiums Kaiser has collected and their $2.7 billion in profits this past year alone that this hospital should open without full services.”
Kaiser closed the Hayward pediatrics unit in November leaving over 100,000 families in southern and central Alameda County without access to hospitalization for children under 18 in their own communities.
The in-patient pediatric facility provided care for 1,800 families every year who must now travel to Oakland, San Jose or even Roseville on congested freeways for needed care.
“Kaiser’s short signed decision will result in families being forced to take additional time off work, spent more time away from their other children, pay more in commute costs, and put some patients at risk with longer travel times. We will continue to challenge this appalling reduction of patient care,” said Zenei Cortez, RN, a CNA co-president and chair of CNA’s Kaiser nurse negotiating committee.
In addition to its big profit numbers last year, Kaiser has enrolled over 15,000 additional Alameda County residents through the Covered California Affordable Care Act’s state exchange.
“But Kaiser has presumably failed to tell those new enrollees that if they live in southern or central Alameda County they are subject to reduced level of care for their children despite paying Kaiser’s high premiums,” Cortez said. “That is a message we intend to make sure the public hears.”