Pinoy nurses rally to save jobs, hospital in US

By Henni Espinosa
Filipino nurses are now fighting to save not only their jobs but also the hospital where they work in California.

The nurses rallied in front of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors Office in Oakland, last Tuesday to protest the closure of San Leandro Hospital where they worked.

“I work here for five days full time and I don’t have any other work so it’s going to affect me and my family,” said Filipino nurse Mildred Causing.

More than half of the 250 nurses at the hospital are Filipino.

“Kahit registered nurse ngayon mahihirapan pa din humanap ng trabaho dahil marami ang uninsured at sa palagay ko mahina ang bayad ng medical, medicare sa mga hospital,” said another Filipina nurse Dolorita Malixi.

The nurses said they want to save San Leandro Hospital because it is the only fully-functioning acute care hospital in the area.

“If we are not there then where will those people go?” said Betty Micu.

The California Nurses Association which represents the nurses accused Sutter Health of closing hospitals in medically underserved areas.

“I think this is Sutter’s modus operandi they come in and they purchase the hospital and they make promises to the community that they’ll make services open and they almost immediately start to plan how to close services in areas that have less insured patients, the underserved areas in favor of building up in areas where people are more affluent,” said the association’s spokesperson Jan Rodolfo. 

According to reports, Sutter said that in the month of February alone the hospital lost US$1.5 million. Sutter said that while it is still evaluating the hospital’s financial health, it said it’s clear that they cannot offer the services they do right now and stay in business.

Sutter plan to close the hospital on June 30.