As Israel continues its ongoing genocidal onslaught on Gaza, over 8,500 have been killed and countless injured. Israel just bombed Gaza’s largest refugee camp multiple times, killing hundreds. According to UNICEF, Israel’s assault is killing or injuring at least 400 children every day. The state continues to cut off Gaza’s ability to communicate with the outside world as it ramps up its bombing campaign, targeting healthcare facilities and healthcare workers in its campaign. After bombing Al-Ahli hospital (and then lying about the bombing), Israel directed those at Al Quds hospital to evacuate, then began bombing the area around the hospital — 100 medical workers, 500 patients, and 14,000 refugees were inside.
With over 7,000 Palestinians killed and over 14,000 injured, the humanitarian crisis continues to unfold in Gaza. Some parents have resorted to writing the names of their children on their children’s bodies in fear they will otherwise be unidentifiable if they are killed in a bombing attack. The Healthcare Ministry of Gaza has declared that the healthcare system in the region has completely collapsed and that all hospitals in Gaza will run out of fuel and necessary medical supplies. An AP news report describes the scenes inside of hospitals a “nightmare.” Hospitals report running out of basic items like pain medications, antibiotics, bandages, and antiseptics.
One of the largest non-nurse health care strikes in Pacific Northwest history began at 6:30 a.m. this morning, shedding light on skilled workers who often get overlooked. We’re demanding that PeaceHealth, a Jesuit-run health system, raise wages and fix critically short staffing—two issues that are closely related. The strikers are 1,300 workers at two hospitals in southwest Washington: PeaceHealth Southwest in Vancouver, and PeaceHealth St. John in nearby Longview. The strike will last five days; workers will return to work October 28. PeaceHealth had announced that it would cut off health insurance if the strike continued into November.
An Israeli airstrike on the al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City has killed more than 500 people, according to Palestinian health authorities and journalists on the ground. According to Al Jazeera journalist Maram Humaid, a spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported an initial estimate of 200-300 casualties. The health ministry has updated estimates to 500 people killed. Tareq Abu Azzoum, reporting for Al Jazeera from Khan Younis in southern Gaza, detailed that the bombing on the hospital courtyard came without warning and has caused significant damage to the building, which continues to provide medical services.
Thousands of Kaiser Permanente workers across the United States began a strike against contract negotiations that strikers say are not being done “in good faith” and fail to adequately address the “unsafe staffing levels” within the major medical organization. The contracts for several thousand Kaiser Permanente workers expired Sunday evening, including contracts for about 400 pharmacists and optometrists out of Virginia and Washington, D.C., kicking off the nationwide strike of Kaiser Permanente healthcare workers and technicians, according to a written statement from The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions.
The largest health care strike in U.S. history has begun, as more than 75,000 workers at Kaiser Permanente walked off the job this morning. The scheduled three-day labor stoppage comes after Kaiser failed to meet the demands of workers, continuing to prioritize their profits over patient care. The striking coalition includes eight unions representing health care workers from a variety of job descriptions and covers Kaiser facilities in California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Virginia, and Washington City. This represents about 40% of all Kaiser Permanente staff, according to spokeswoman Renee Saldana of the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare (SEIU-UHW)—the largest union in the coalition.
On October 4, 75,000 healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente facilities in several US states are set to go on strike for three days following the breakdown of contract negotiations last week. A coalition of several unions representing health workers in California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Virginia, and Washington, DC is battling the nonprofit health giant for safe staffing levels, cost of living pay increases, and against a two-tier pay system that Kaiser is trying to introduce. The largest union in the coalition is Service Employees International Union (SEIU)-United Healthcare Workers West (UHW) with 57,443 members, but the coalition also includes Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 30, SEIU Local 49, OPEIU Local 2 and others.
A coalition of eight unions representing 75,000 employees of Kaiser Permanente said late Saturday that is has not reached an agreement with the company, setting the stage for the largest healthcare strike in US history on Wednesday. The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, which has workers at hundreds of hospitals and medical offices in California, Oregon, Colorado, Virginia, Washington and Washington, D.C., said in a statement that it remains far apart with the company on important issues but still has had “good discussions with Kaiser.” The healthcare workers are seeking across-the-board pay raises and improvements to their pension plans, as well as protections against outsourcing.
Some 3,800 union healthcare workers in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., are threatening to go on strike at the end of this month if the leadership at Kaiser Permanente and the union cannot agree to a new contract addressing staffing shortages and low pay for workers. According to a Monday statement from OPEIU Local 2, which represents 8,000 workers in the region, about 98% of health care workers from the union voted to authorize a strike to protest “unfair labor practices” if no agreement is reached by Sept. 30. The health care workers represented by OPEIU Local 2 union include optometrists, pharmacists, nurses and certified nursing assistants.
Chicago, Illinois - Following an 11-day strike that galvanized a Chicago West Side neighborhood, around 200 hospital workers treating uninsured and underinsured patients have won and ratified a new contract they believe will help them better serve the community. Members of SEIU Healthcare, the mostly Black employees include nursing assistants, emergency room technicians, mental health workers and janitorial staff at Loretto Hospital, a 122-bed medical facility in the Austin neighborhood. Loretto is a privately run but publicly funded “safety-net” hospital, treating low-income patients regardless of their insurance, especially around issues such as addiction and mental health.
The Korean Health and Medical Workers’ Union (KHMU) has announced a nationwide strike starting Thursday, July 13, unless the government responds to their demands. The trade union has been concerned about staff shortages and low wages for years and is now prepared to escalate action as President Yoon Seok-yeol’s administration continues to ignore the issues faced by health workers. In a recent press release, the KHMU emphasized that the strike aims to defend the lives and health of the people, in collaboration with citizens. Trade union officials also stated that during the strike, they would address the existing problems in the healthcare system, emphasizing the danger of a collapse in essential and public healthcare due to a lack of health workers.
Rishi Sunak’s government in the UK is on a mission to curb the wave of strikes by health workers which began at the end of 2022. In April, the majority of members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and Unite the Union rejected Health Secretary Steve Barclay’s offer of a 5% salary increase and one-off payment, announcing they would continue striking for a better deal. Instead of reopening negotiations, the government took the RCN to court over what health workers have called a “technical discrepancy” over the organization’s strike mandate. The High Court ruled in favor of the government, shortening the strike originally scheduled to take place between April 30 and May 2 to less than 24 hours.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin - The Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Healthcare Professionals (WFNHP) Local 5000 held a rally and picket outside of the Milwaukee home of Bernie Sherry, the CEO of Ascension Wisconsin, one of his many houses. The January 4 action was in response to the abrupt announcement of the December 23 closure of St. Francis Hospital’s Labor and Delivery (L+D) Unit. The staff losing their jobs as a result of this closure wants their union to back them in fighting to have their services reopen. WFNHP- a union of fighters- will do whatever it takes to reopen St. Francis’s L+D unit. This is not just standing up for the union jobs lost, but the fatal risk it will bring to the predominantly Latino, Chicano, immigrant and uninsured populations that this hospital mainly serves.
North Carolina - Each day on his commute to the clinic, Dr Crister Brady traverses the rolling farmland of Eastern North Carolina, gliding past the neon-green tobacco fields where many of his patients live and work. Brady’s clinic, the Prospect Hill Community Health Center, is one of ten federally qualified health centers operated by Piedmont Health Services Inc. The nonprofit provides comprehensive primary care services to patients who are uninsured or who receive coverage from Medicaid and Medicare. Brady’s desire to care for underserved communities dates back to his experience providing “street medicine” to the unhoused. Today he aims to use his credibility as a physician to chip away at the artificial divisions designed to separate caregivers from their patients and each other.
Health workers Lianna Reynolds and Sepeedeh Saleh talk about what prompted them to launch a campaign against the British government’s policy of deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda. Lianna Reynolds and Sepeedeh Saleh are British health workers who co-authored an appeal to former Home Secretary Priti Patel protesting the government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. The appeal was signed by over 400 medical professionals. In this interview with Peoples Health Dispatch, they explain the reasons for this move by the government, what prompted them to send the letter, and the responsibilities of those in the sector while addressing such issues.