Hospitals in King County have changed. Our community-based care-focused hospitals have now merged into huge corporations that don’t feel accountable to patients’, caregivers’, or community needs. More hospitals are failing to live up to their responsibility to provide safe, accessible care to our community.
“I sounded the alarm and used every system I was supposed to to say that our staffing wasn’t safe that night,” said Bruce Berghegger, RN, from Swedish-Ballard. “Still, management refused to call in another nurse. In the end, I was assaulted by a patient.”
More than 150 patients, hospital workers, community leaders, and elected officials packed the room on May 7 to hear about how our hospital systems’ greed is hurting our community. Nurses, nursing assistants, and housekeepers talked about how short staffing is putting our patients at risk. Patients talked about how medical debt and collections are getting in the way of receiving the care we need. And elected officials and community leaders committed to taking action with us to hold hospitals accountable.
“No hospital CEO should profit from my cancer,” said Swedish-Providence patient and Washington CAN! member Ben Henry, whom Swedish-Providence took to collections for medical debt.
Leaders from the Church Council of Greater Seattle, the Asian-Pacific American Labor Alliance, the Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action, and Cindy Domingo from King County Councilmember Larry Gossett’s office all showed their support. Together, we committed to take action to hold hospitals accountable.”I stand with you as you work to make sure hospitals are for patients and not for profits,” said Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant.
“We need to stand together, because if you go alone you go fast, but if you go together you go far,” said Seattle City Councilmember Jean Godden.