The National Network on Cuba, The Black Alliance for Peace, and Lowcountry Action Committee strongly condemn the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) airstrikes in Somalia reported to have killed 2 Cuban doctors. We demand the U.S. release all information about the bombing to Cuba and the victims’ families. Cuba has deployed more than 600,000 health workers to 165 nations over the last six decades on medical missions. Two Cubans serving in Kenya, Dr. Assel Herrera Correa, a specialist in general medicine, and Dr. Landy Rodriguez Hernandez, a surgeon, were kidnapped there in 2019 and held in Jilib, southern Somalia.
Following on from junior doctors and consultants, a third group of NHS professionals is now floating the idea of strike action. The union involved is once again the British Medical Association (BMA), and the doctors are known as SAS ones, who work mostly in hospitals. While the profession may be slightly different, the reasons for the potential industrial action are the same: pay and working conditions. You might not have heard of them, and their role is quite opaque – but as HEE noted, there are a lot of SASs. The difference with the role is that the person has chosen not to take a career-led pathway. That is, they stop ongoing post-graduate training to become a consultant or GP.
I started medical school in 2011, full of idealism and optimism over the promise of Obamacare. But the health care system has gotten progressively worse every year that I’ve worked in it, probably because private equity firms keep acquiring new corners. The urgent care was an exception, it was part of a family business, founded by an emergency physician who actually cares about employees. When COVID came, they didn’t lay off a single full-timer even when volume fell off a cliff, probably in part because he was a big Trumper and was convinced the pandemic would “blow over” by the summer of 2020.
Leading medical journals published a joint editorial late Tuesday calling on world leaders to take urgent steps to reduce the risk of nuclear war—and eliminate atomic weapons altogether—as the threat of a potentially civilization-ending conflict continues to grow. The call was first issued in The Lancet, The BMJ, JAMA, International Nursing Review, and other top journals. Dozens of other journals are expected to publish the editorial in the coming days ahead of the 78th anniversary of the U.S. nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The editorial begins by noting that the hands of the Doomsday Clock are closer to midnight than ever before, reflecting mounting nuclear tensions amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
In her eight years as a pediatrician, Dr. Lauren Beene had always stayed out of politics. What happened at the Statehouse had little to do with the children she treated in her Cleveland practice. But after the Supreme Court struck down abortion protections, that all changed. The first Monday after the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling was emotional. Beene fielded a call from the mother of a 13-year-old patient. The mother was worried her child might need birth control in case she was the victim of a sexual assault. Beene also talked to a 16-year-old patient unsure about whether to continue her pregnancy. Time wasn’t on her side, Beene told the girl.
One of the nation’s biggest employers of emergency physicians is liquidating, in one of the more unruly sagas American medicine has experienced since the first wave of the pandemic. The collapsing entity is American Physician Partners, a private equity–owned operator of about 135 hospital emergency rooms and hospital-owned “freestanding” ERs in 18 states, which was co-founded by a sitting Republican congressman. Until two weeks ago, the company was by all appearances relatively indistinguishable from the other deeply indebted, private equity–backed mega-practices that staff ERs with round-the-clock physicians and “midlevels” (physician assistants and nurse practitioners).
In the culmination of a months-long organizing effort, resident physicians at Loma Linda University Health voted to unionize on June 22. The historic vote is the latest chapter in the most prominent recent showdown between a Seventh-day Adventist health care institution and organized labor. According to the National Labor Relations Board, which held the election, the final margin was 361 in favor of joining the Union of American Physicians and Dentists, 144 against. Approximately two-thirds of the 805 eligible resident physicians submitted a ballot. “We won,” the resident organizing committee wrote on Instagram. “After years of hard work we finally did it.”
Elmhurst, Queens -- Resident physicians at Elmhurst Hospital hit the picket line Monday for a five-day strike, marking the first doctor strike in the city in more than 30 years. The physicians, who are part of a training program run by Mount Sinai's Icahn School of Medicine, are demanding better pay and benefits such as safe rides home from work at night. The hospital is part of the Mount Sinai system, but resident physicians at Elmhurst say they make up to $7,000 less than their counterparts at Mount Sinai in Manhattan. Striking doctors are also pointing out that two years ago, they were in the thick of the COVID pandemic. Elmhurst, a city run hospital, was the early epicenter of coronavirus cases during spring 2020.
During the first wave of Covid-19, Queens hospitals were on the frontlines of the pandemic. Although they were celebrated as essential workers, some first-year physician residents were only making between $15 and $17 an hour while they routinely worked 80-hour weeks. Nearly three years later, about 300 resident physicians and fellows at Jamaica and Flushing Hospitals have won a new contract after threatening to walk off the job if their demands for better wages and improved working conditions were not met.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - After a months-long organizing campaign, the resident and fellow physicians at the University of Pennsylvania overwhelmingly voted to unionize with the Committee of Interns and Residents. With 88% of participants voting in favor, the frontline Penn Medicine doctors are the first statewide to gain union representation. Working at one of the region’s largest healthcare providers, Penn’s frontline physicians look forward to advocating for the conditions they need to provide top-quality care without compromising their mental, physical, or financial wellbeing. Despite working at one of the wealthiest university systems in the country, residents often struggle to make ends meet.
Junior doctors in England will be the next to join the wave of health workers’ industrial action in March. On Monday, February 20, the British Medical Association (BMA) announced the results of a strike ballot vote conducted among their junior doctor members, in which 98% of those who took part voted in favor of the strike. Striking remains the last resort for health workers, but they have said that the cost of living crisis and lack of investment in salaries has led them to take this step. According to the BMA, since 2008, junior doctors have experienced a 25% cut to their income.
Over 130,000 NHS staff vacancies. 65% of junior doctors actively looking to quit, with 4 in 10 already having plans to do so. Record numbers waiting over 12 hours to be seen in A&E. Hundreds of avoidable deaths every week. The health service as we know it has arguably already collapsed. Anti-trade union legalisation is being quickly drawn up by rattled ministers in a desperate attempt to stifle our movement. This may be our final chance to turn the tide on this increasingly authoritarian government. But our workforce isn’t going down without a fight. Today marks the first day of balloting junior doctors for industrial action. Our demands are simple and modest: we are asking the government to reverse the pay cuts our profession has endured over the last decade and a half. We are not asking for a rise—just for pay to be restored to 2008 levels.
A group of emergency physicians and consumer advocates in multiple states are pushing for stiffer enforcement of decades-old statutes that prohibit the ownership of medical practices by corporations not owned by licensed doctors. Thirty-three states plus the District of Columbia have rules on their books against the so-called corporate practice of medicine. But over the years, critics say, companies have successfully sidestepped bans on owning medical practices by buying or establishing local staffing groups that are nominally owned by doctors and restricting the physicians’ authority so they have no direct control. These laws and regulations, which started appearing nearly a century ago, were meant to fight the commercialization of medicine, maintain the independence and authority of physicians, and prioritize the doctor-patient relationship over the interests of investors and shareholders.
A private equity–owned emergency room staffing firm cofounded by a wealthy Republican congressman has been openly hailing a coming “oversupply” of doctors, promising prospective investors that a surplus of emergency physicians — soon projected to reach nearly ten thousand — will drive doctors’ wages low enough to offset the haircut that health care reforms have imposed upon its profit margins. The physician glut was highlighted in a recent pitch deck prepared by the cash-strapped Nashville ER staffing firm American Physician Partners (APP). The company, which operates ERs in 155 hospitals, has been trying — and failing — for months to raise $580 million to pay off creditors, including Representative Mark Green (R-TN), who holds somewhere between $5 million and $25 million of the company’s debt.
Protests are pretty common at the Little Rock, Arkansas, clinic where Dr. Janet Cathey works. After all, she works for Planned Parenthood. Controversy is practically part of the job description. But at one recent protest, Cathey noticed an unusual sign. It was homemade, and it wasn’t condemning abortion. Instead, its message was: “Boys are born boys, girls are born girls.” “Oh, so they’re picking on us for the transgender care, too,” Cathey, director of gender education for Planned Parenthood of Great Plains, recalled thinking. Arkansas is the only state whose governor has signed into law a bill to restrict healthcare for trans kids, and although that law has been halted by a court challenge, it hasn’t dissuaded a flurry of other states from trying to enact similar laws this year.