FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 15, 2023
Media contact: Renée Saldaña, email@example.com
San Jose, Calif. – Caregivers and allies picketed, at HCA’s Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, the fourth in a series of protests being held this spring across HCA Healthcare facilities in California. More than 3,000 healthcare workers, who are currently in bargaining with management over short-staffing and other issues, are concerned that the company’s profit focus is imperiling worker and patient safety.
“I grew up at this hospital and have loved ones who have been patients here for years,” said Stacy Wardner, a patient care technician in the intensive care unit at the facility. “I was always proud to work at Good Samaritan but after the pandemic—seeing how our community was there for us when our employer wasn’t—it changed a lot of healthcare workers. This is the first time I’ve ever been ashamed of where I work, and we’re fighting back because we refuse to allow this crisis to continue while HCA profits from our patients’ pain.”
These pickets against the nation’s single largest healthcare system started in January and will continue through March. A recent survey by SEIU-UHW of healthcare workers at HCA Good Samaritan found that more than 83% of caregivers reported consistently being somewhat or severely understaffed, 74% reported having insufficient time for proper patient care, and 66% reported delays or denials of patient care due to short staffing.
The protests also come on the heels of a national report released by SEIU, the nation’s largest union of healthcare workers, revealing a dangerous pattern of understaffing at HCA hospitals. Care Crisis: How Low Staffing Contributes to Patient Care Failures at HCA Hospitals analyzes federal data to demonstrate systemic, chronic short staffing at HCA hospitals and reveals how it directly impacts patient care.
According to federal data, HCA Good Samaritan Hospital has a notably high number of patient care violations (15 total since 2014) that include instances where “there were not enough nurses to take care of patients in the intensive care units and other units.”
This chronic short staffing has allowed HCA Healthcare to rake in billions of dollars, resulting in huge payouts for executives and shareholders. In 2021, HCA reported nearly $7 billion in profits and distributed $8 billion in payouts to shareholders. Since 2011, HCA has paid out more than $32 billion to investors.
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SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is a healthcare justice union of more than 100,000 healthcare workers, patients, and healthcare activists united to ensure affordable, accessible, high-quality care for all Californians, provided by valued and respected healthcare workers. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.