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Healthcare workers

NHS Workers Undeterred By Government Attempts To Stop Strikes

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: WFNHP Local 5000 Leads A Picket Outside Of Ascension CEO’s Home

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.

A New Doctors’ Union In The South Is A Model For Health Care Organizing

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.

UK Health Workers Protest Plan To Deport Asylum Seekers To Rwanda

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.

Kaiser Strikers Insist You Should Be Able To Get An Appointment When Needed

Psychologists, social workers, therapists, and chemical dependency counselors are in the ninth week of an open-ended strike at Kaiser Permanente in Northern and Central California. The 2,000 mental health care workers walked out August 15; their contract has been expired since September 2021. They’re members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers, which split from SEIU in 2010. NUHW says Kaiser has failed to provide the staffing and wages to retain adequate and diverse staff—yielding unsustainable workloads and dangerous understaffing. After a mental health intake visit, even patients in crisis may wait weeks or months for a second appointment. Clinicians also report managers pressure them to prescribe next appointments when an appointment is available, rather than when they think the patient needs it—a practice that’s dangerous for patients and demoralizing for mental health workers.

Brazil’s Health Workers Vow To Save Public Healthcare In The Country

Hundreds of health activists participated at the Free, Democratic and Popular Health Conference, organized by Frente pela Vida (Front for Life) on August 5 in São Paulo. Health workers, managers, social and political leaders, researchers and public health experts from various parts of the country discussed a health agenda for Brazil. The nation is currently facing challenges including the lack of funding for the Unified Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde, SUS) and accumulated problems due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was attended by former president and current presidential candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. In his speech, Lula reaffirmed that he intends to revoke the spending cap in the federal budget, which has been in force in Brazil since 2016. “Between 2018 and 2022, the spending cap—which takes from the poor to give to the rich—has already taken R$36.9 billion (approximately USD$7.2 billion) from the federal health budget.

Healthcare Profits: Montefiore Hospital Closes Bronx Center

Montefiore Hospital System is set to close its Family Health Center (FHC) at 1 Fordham Plaza which has provided primary care to a community in the Bronx for over 30 years. At the same time, Montefiore is slated to open a large, upscale primary care clinic for wealthy patients living around Hudson Yards. This is healthcare under capitalism: shut down primary care in poor areas serving patients of color and instead open more profitable centers in wealthy areas serving predominantly white patients. The FHC has been providing primary care services to over tens of thousands of low-income residents in the surrounding community, most of whom are Black and Brown/Latinx. The center also is one of the primary training locations of the Family Medicine department’s Family and Social Medicine Residency outpatient training program.

Joint Health Statement For First Meeting Of States Parties

Representing physicians, nurses, public health professionals, and medical students worldwide, we speak with a united voice on the urgent need to eliminate nuclear weapons as a matter of global health and survival. Updated evidence on the catastrophic consequences of any use of nuclear weapons, the acute and growing danger of their use, and the impossibility of any effective humanitarian and health response following nuclear explosions on populations, should underpin the work of the upcoming 1st Meeting of States Parties (1MSP) of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The TPNW is based upon a body of indisputable evidence, documented by scientists, health professionals, and experts in crisis management and response, that the consequences of nuclear weapons use are catastrophic, global, and without remedy.

Union Wins Two Elections Among Clinical Staff At McLean Hospital

Belmont, Massachusetts - Local union organizers have scored another victory at McLean Hospital in Belmont, after winning two votes on Friday to unionize all hourly clinical staff like nurses and mental health specialists who assist with patient care. In September, research assistants at the nationally prominent Harvard-affiliated psychiatric treatment and research institution formed a union — the first, the organizers say, in the hospital’s long history. All hourly clinical staff, excluding those with advanced degrees, will be part of the union if Friday's votes are confirmed. Through the effort, union organizers from AFSCME Council 93, which represents some 45,000 mostly state and municipal workers in New England, said about one-third of McLean’s approximately 2,400 employees may soon be unionized.

More Than 200 Health Journals Call For Urgent Action On Climate Crisis

More than 200 health journals worldwide are publishing an editorial calling on leaders to take emergency action on climate change and to protect health. The British Medical Journal said it is the first time so many publications have come together to make the same statement, reflecting the severity of the situation. The editorial, which is being published before the UN general assembly and the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow this November, says: “Ahead of these pivotal meetings, we – the editors of health journals worldwide – call for urgent action to keep average global temperature increases below 1.5C, halt the destruction of nature, and protect health. “Health is already being harmed by global temperature increases and the destruction of the natural world, a state of affairs health professionals have been bringing attention to for decades.

Medical Technicians’ Strike In Oregon Could Be The First Of Many

As a registered respiratory therapist, Rachel Maida spent the past year caring for COVID-19 patients at St Charles Medical Center in Bend, Oregon in the United States – challenging work that has taken both a physical and mental toll on the 48-year-old. The powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) she wears for 12 hours a day causes headaches, she said, and her mask leaves bruises on her face. She loves her job, but “it’s exhausting, day in and day out,” Maida told Al Jazeera, explaining that earning between $25 and $35 per hour, she is not compensated enough. That is why nearly a year into the coronavirus pandemic, Maida and more than 150 other medical technicians – a group of highly skilled healthcare professionals who typically don’t have the labour protections afforded to nurses and doctors – have been negotiating their first union contract as part of the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (OFNHP).

“Those Of Us Who Don’t Die Are Going To Quit”

Nurse Kristen Cline was working a 12-hour shift in October at the Royal C. Johnson Veterans Memorial Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, when a code blue rang through the halls. A patient in an isolation room was dying of a coronavirus that had raged for eight months across the country before it made the state the brightest red dot in a nation of hot spots. Cline knew she needed to protect herself before entering the room, where a second COVID-19 patient was trembling under the covers, sobbing. She reached for the crinkled and dirty N95 mask she had reused for days. In her post-death report, Cline described how the patient fell victim to a hospital in chaos. The crash cart and breathing bag that should have been in the room were missing.

Yuma Hospital Fires ER Doctor For Talking About COVID-19

Dr. Cleavon Gilman, a well-known emergency-medicine physician, has been asked not to return to his work at Yuma Regional Medical Center for his social media posts about the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic in Arizona, according to him and his staffing agency. "What I don't understand about this is I have been advocating for Arizona; I have been calling for a mask mandate, the closure of schools and indoor dining," Gilman told The Arizona Republic. "I did all of this because we are seeing an unprecedented number of cases. This is my third surge — I know how this ends."

‘This Strike Is A Fight For Our Lives’

As a strike wave sweeps the U.S. health­care indus­try amid the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic, 700 front­line work­ers at 11 Chica­go-area nurs­ing homes have been on the pick­et lines since Novem­ber 23.  Pri­mar­i­ly Black and Lati­na women, the strik­ing work­ers are mem­bers of SEIU Health­care Illi­nois & Indi­ana and include cer­ti­fied nurs­ing assis­tants (CNAs), dietary aides, house­keep­ers and laun­dry work­ers. They are fight­ing for at least $15 an hour, haz­ard pay and ade­quate per­son­al pro­tec­tive equip­ment (PPE).

As Racism Plagues Health Care, Unions Offer A Treatment

Like many nursing homes across the country, the Genesis HealthCare center in Greenville, Rhode Island, primarily houses white residents and employs people of color. Adelina Ramos, who’s Cape Verdean, works at the center as a certified nursing assistant and faces a number of challenges common to the caregiving profession. Each day, she cares for 11 dementia patients on her own, with that number sometimes rising to 18 if a co-worker can’t come in. The job comes with long hours on her feet and the occasional risk of physical harm when dealing with aggressive patients.
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