Seniors, Nurses and Community Members March to Save Manteca-Kaiser Hospital
Nurses, Kaiser patients and other concerned community members will march in Manteca, CA tomorrow to protest service cuts at Manteca-Kaiser Hospital. Senior citizens have been particularly hard hit by the reduction of vital services and have played an active role in organizing tomorrow’s march.
While Kaiser's Northern California membership has grown by more than 21,000 new members, and Manteca membership continues to grow, Kaiser has closed an entire hospital floor at Kaiser Manteca, greatly reducing the number of hospital beds. As a result, the Emergency Room cannot admit many people to the hospital and every month hundreds of patients are transferred to Modesto and Stockton against their wishes.
Seniors, nurses and other community members are calling 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. They are also calling on Kaiser to bring back critical diagnostic services cut earlier this year.
“I know first-hand the risks our loved ones face as a result of the reduced services at Kaiser Manteca,” said Jackie Rudy, who joined Kaiser with her husband Dennis 49 years ago. "That's why I’ve been organizing my fellow seniors for this march," said Rudy. The Rudys, like many of their neighbors, were attracted to moving into the senior community because of its proximity to Manteca Kaiser, which they believed to be a full service hospital.
What: Seniors, Nurses and Concerned Community Members March to Save Manteca-Kaiser Hospital
When: Friday, 11:30 am
Where: Start at NW corner of W. Yosemite Ave and N. Union Rd
End at Manteca-Kaiser Hospital, W. Yosemite Ave and N. St. Dominic’s Drive
“This is now a regional problem caused by the severe cuts to services and hospitalization in Manteca,” said Amy Glass, an RN at Modesto-Kaiser’s ICU. “Kaiser needs to immediately reinstate full services in Manteca and reopen the third floor. Those beds and critical diagnostic tests are needed there. When we say, ‘Some cuts don’t heal,’ we really mean it. The risks are too great. Our patients deserve full care; frankly, they’ve paid for it.”
Nurses, represented by the California Nurses Association, have a long history of supporting community efforts to stop the closure of local hospitals. Last year, community health advocates, including RNs, were successful in winning the survival of St. Luke’s hospital in San Francisco and San Leandro hospital in Alameda County, both hospitals serving low-income, vulnerable populations. RNs were also at the forefront of past campaigns to save Kaiser Richmond and Kaiser Oakland.
As both an insurance company and a hospital chain, Kaiser has increased its profits by reducing patient services, especially hospital care. From January to June of this year, Kaiser made profits of $1.2 billion and made more than $2.6 billion in 2012.