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Healthcare Workers Skeptical of Planning Process for St. Luke's
Date:1/24/2008

UHW praises city officials' efforts, questions Sutter's intentions

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sal Rosselli, President of SEIU United Healthcare Workers - West (UHW), representing 1,200 caregivers employed by CPMC and St. Luke's Hospital, today expressed serious doubts about the "Blue Ribbon Panel" announced by hospital management with the participation of city officials to develop a plan for the future of St. Luke's Hospital. His statement is below:

"We applaud city officials' efforts to keep St. Luke's open, but experience has taught us to be skeptical that any process convened by Sutter Health Corporation's California Pacific Medical Center will yield a plan that meets the healthcare needs of San Franciscans instead of padding their bottom line.

"For years, doctors, nurses, caregivers, elected officials, patients and community leaders have asked Sutter officials to commit to save St. Luke's, and they've hedged and dodged the entire time, changing their position over and over again. Now, they've been dragged to the table kicking and screaming, but they still can't say plainly that they're committing to keep St. Luke's open as a full service, acute care hospital.

"Sutter could save St. Luke's today by signing a legally binding memorandum of agreement to keep the hospital open and fully functioning. The Sutter Corporation reported $587 million in profits last year alone. They have more than enough funds to maintain and improve the hospital. The question is whether or not they have the will to protect the health of San Franciscans by keeping St. Luke's open.

"Fundamentally, we believe San Francisco would be better served by an open and accountable public process to determine the city's healthcare needs and ensure that all of Sutter's reorganization plans meet them in order to win city approval."

The 150,000-member SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West is the largest hospital and healthcare union in the western United States and represents every type of healthcare worker, including nurses, professional, technical and service classifications. Our mission is to achieve high-quality healthcare for all.


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SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West
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