Press Release

San Diego RNs Sound Alarm over Harm to Local Community from Economy, Health Cuts

For Immediate Release
June 22, 2011

Thursday Noon Nurse Protest

Nurse Rallies to Heal America in San Diego, Ventura, Northern Los Angeles Counties Coincide with National Wall Street Protest

San Diego RNs, from Alvarado Hospital, Tri-Cities Medical Center, UC San Diego Medical Center, and Palomar Pomerado, represented by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, are identifying broad declines in health tied to economic hardship and obstacles to healthcare coverage.

Health conditions local nurses identified as linked to the current prolonged economic decline include stress-induced heart ailments in younger people, and adult diseases now found in children which include pancreatitis due to high-fat diets linked to low incomes; a range of gastrointestinal disorders, such as colitis; increased obesity, mental illnesses, including anxiety disorders, in youth populations; and higher and more severe asthma rates and increased premature births.

“I take care of geriatric patients with dementia, a population that has been disproportionately affected by the downturn in the economy,” said Lisa Ross, an RN who works with geriatric psychiatric patients at UC San Diego Medical Center. “The biggest problem for my patients is placement. San Diego County assisted living for dementia patients runs up to $8,000 a month. Funding to adult day Care programs in the county are also being cut, and as a result many of these will be shutting down. There will be an increasing burden on families to care for their aging parents at home, but still having to work at the same time, which places a huge stress on the entire household.”

Proposed new healthcare cuts to the San Diego Health and Human Services Agency come at a time of growing caseloads in Medi-Cal, food stamps, and the CalWORKS programs. Domestic violence services lost half a million dollars, the Teen Relationship Violence program, serving approximately 300 teens annually, is being eliminated, as well as the staff that provided support to the Domestic Violence Review Team. .   
San Diego County has a high foreclosure rate of one per 244 properties, another indicator of the poor economy. (Note: To be in the high category a county must have a foreclosure rate higher than one in 700 properties.)RNs to Protest Local Healthcare Cuts

When:    Thursday June 23rd @ 12:00 p.m.
Where:    County Administration Building, 1600 Harbor Drive, San Diego

The Southern California protests coincide with an action in New York City today by NNU nurses calling for a tax on financial transactions—the buying and selling of stocks,  bonds, derivatives, and credit default swaps, ( 401-k and first issuances of Treasury bonds are excluded). The revenue from the Wall Street tax would raise hundreds of billions of dollars annually, revenue critical in creating jobs and supporting bedrock social insurance programs.
The nurse protests are a part of a national campaign, the Main Street Contract for the American People to address the erosion of living standards and protections for families and future generations. The Main Street Contract calls for:

  1. Equal access to quality, public education.
  2. Guaranteed healthcare with a single standard of care.
  3. A secure retirement with the ability to retire in dignity.
  4. Good housing and protection from hunger.
  5. A safe and healthy environment.
  6. A just taxation system where corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share.

The Wall Street action is part of an International Day of Action called by European unions which is part of a worldwide campaign to make the corporate finance sector pay to rebuild the global economy. The United Kingdom already has what is called a Financial Transaction Tax, and the proposal was endorsed this week by the French National Assembly and the Brazilian Congress. The protests this week are intended to press all the European Union member nations to adopt the fee.