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Healthcare Workers Rally to Address Concerns About Layoffs and Quality Patient Care
Date:9/12/2007

LAKEWOOD, Calif. and LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., Sept. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Healthcare workers at Tenet hospitals in California will hold a series of actions to address Tenet's refusal to work with frontline healthcare workers to protect patient care. The workers will be joined by local community supporters including elected officials.

Tenet Health Systems recently announced layoffs at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, Garden Grove Hospital, John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Indio, Lakewood Regional Medical Center, San Ramon Regional Medical Center, Templeton's Twin Cities Community Hospital, and USC University Hospital. The cutbacks affect many workers who directly provide patient care including certified nursing assistants, surgical techs, emergency medical techs, pharmacists and radiology techs.

With the proposed layoffs, patient care is sure to be impacted. For example, at Lakewood Regional Medical Center, a number of critical shifts will not be covered by emergency medical techs in the ER. "Healthcare workers at Tenet hospitals are doing heroic work for our patients despite management making it increasingly difficult for us to provide the best possible care," said Terrence Carter, an EEG tech at the hospital.

Last month SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West and SEIU Local 121RN announced results of a statewide survey of healthcare workers at California Tenet hospitals about patient care. The survey reported 60 percent of respondents said their unit suffered from understaffing every week, 36 percent said state mandated nurse-to-patient ratios are not always met, and one in three (34 percent) said they lacked necessary equipment or supplies on a regular basis. Members are protesting Tenet's cutbacks that will further compromise patient care.

"We are concerned about patient care and our concerns have now escalated as a result of further cutbacks," said Debbie Cortez, a respiratory tech at Los Alamitos Medical Center.

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SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West
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