Florida Nurses Call Out Hospital Chain For Lack Of PPE

Florida area nurses, healthcare workers call out hospital chain for lack of PPE, layoff threats, as COVID-19 rages

New data shows nearly a third of maxed-out Florida ICU’s are in HCA hospitals despite HCA receiving $5.3 billion bailout

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Florida Nurses Call Out HCA

FLORIDA -- The largest hospital chain in Florida and in the country is under fire for what nurses and healthcare workers say is a failure to adequately respond to the raging COVID-19 surge in the Sunshine State. Meanwhile, new data indicates that nearly a third of the maxed-out ICU’s in the state are in HCA hospitals, despite HCA’s $5.3 billion in taxpayer-funded bailout money.

Caregivers say the math doesn’t add up and are launching a multimedia campaign to raise awareness and to demand additional PPE and staffing to protect patients at the fifty Florida facilities operated by for-profit chain Hospital Corporation of America (NYSE: HCA).

“I want adequate PPE to protect my life and the life of my patients,” said Toni Baldie, a registered nurse in the intensive care unit at HCA-affiliated Northwest Medical Center in Margate, FL. “Due to the shortage of PPE, some are forced to use their N95 mask for multiple days. I am frustrated, especially when I see my coworkers get COVID-19. I had a pregnant coworker contract COVID-19.”

“I want adequate PPE to protect my life and the life of my patients,” said Toni Baldie, a registered nurse in the intensive care unit at HCA-affiliated Northwest Medical Center in Margate, FL. “Due to the shortage of PPE, some are forced to use their N95 mask for multiple days. I am frustrated, especially when I see my coworkers get COVID-19. I had a pregnant coworker contract COVID-19.”

A Third Of The ICUs In Florida Have Reached Their Capacity

Hospital Corporation of America, also known as HCA, is a for-profit chain that operates nearly 50 hospitals in Florida, 15% of all hospitals in the state, and one in five hospital beds in Florida, according to Medicare data.  Nearly a third of the intensive care units (ICUs) in Florida that have reached capacity are operated by for-profit HCA.

In recent months, workers at Hospital Corporation of America facilities across the country have been striking, protesting in multiple Florida cities, and speaking out to company shareholders in recent weeks to protest the lack of consistent PPE provisions and threats by HCA of layoffs.

Those nurses and caregivers say the lack of PPE and layoff threats from HCA, combined with what caregivers say is inadequate staffing, are unacceptable conditions in the face of its private company executives recently taking in $5.3 billion in taxpayer funds through the largest ever government bailout of for-profit hospital systems.

The new television, social media, and billboard advertisements call on HCA to use its $5.3 billion bailout to protect patients and save lives during the pandemic crisis. The television and social media ads can be viewed here: http://protectallpatients.org/media-press/

“We are still fighting this pandemic, it has not gone away, and every patient still requires the right staffing levels, enough PPE, and the full support of our care team,” said Marlyn Hoilette, a registered nurse at an HCA facility in West Palm Beach. “We can’t allow the largest healthcare corporation in the country to receive a $5.3 billion bailout and turn around and make cuts during a pandemic.”

TV ad script:

Florida COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing and hospitals are maxing out their ICUs.

But Hospital Corporation of America threatens layoffs and doesn’t consistently provide workers with life-saving PPE...

Even though they rake in huge profits and got a $5.3 billion federal bailout.

HCA, Florida needs you to put patients over profits.

View ad here: http://protectallpatients.org/media-press/


About SEIU Healthcare:

More than one million healthcare workers across hospitals, in home care and in nursing homes, are united in SEIU, the nation's largest union of healthcare workers. SEIU is an organization of nearly 2 million members united by belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide. SEIU is dedicated to improving the lives of workers, families and communities to create a more just and humane society.