Letters to the Editor

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FRANCISCAN: Decisions about bottom lines

Letter by Kate A. Hunter, Vashon on April 28, 2014 at 4:48 pm with No Comments »
April 29, 2014 9:31 am

Re: “St. Joseph Medical Center sees informational picket” (TNT, 4-23).

When decisions about our health care are made in a corporate boardroom instead of in our community, we all lose. That’s why I’m so concerned about the recent actions by Franciscan Health System.

Franciscan Health Systems is not meeting our community needs. Under the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care, the Franciscans are ordered by their bishops not to provide needed reproductive and end-of-life services for our communities and may be required to deny needed care to the LGBTQ community.

Now we’re learning that they’re undercutting good jobs in our community and denying access to charity care for low-income patients in need.

Why am I concerned? As a patient, I know that much of my care is in the hands of nurses and other support staff represented by Service Employees International Union (SEIU). I want to know that those workers are adequately paid and are given fair retirement compensation.

I find it ironic that St. Joseph, a major health care provider, wants to reduce employee wages and retirement benefits, and increase employee health care premiums. This is what happens when health care goes corporate: hospitals meeting the bottom line but not the bedside need.


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