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Union continues fight against Prime Healthcare deal in California

In the latest controversy over the sale of six hospitals owned by Los Altos Hills, Calif.-based Daughters of Charity Health System, SEIU-Healthcare Workers West has sent a letter to California legislators supporting an alternative to the hospitals being sold to Ontario, Calif.-based Prime Healthcare Services.

In the letter, signed by SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan, the union backs New York City-based Blue Wolf Capital's bid to buy the six hospitals, as the bid did not contain a bankruptcy contingency and Prime's bid did, according to the letter.

Concerning the letter, Edward Barrera, a Prime Healthcare spokesperson says, "Daughters of Charity Health System has clearly stated that Prime Healthcare is the best and only option for these hospitals." Mr. Barrera also indicated Blue Wolf is not a viable option to purchase the hospitals because it "does not have the capital to purchase the system, to infuse the needed funds for capital improvements nor to sustain operations."

In the letter, Mr. Regan also makes a personal attack on Daughters of Charity President and CEO Robert Issai and his compensation. "Mr. Issai has been paid to fail miserably, and then demand millions more as he exits the stage," Mr. Regan wrote in the letter.

SEIU-UHW has gained some support in its fight against the transaction. This week, 18 members of Congress from California sent a letter to California's Attorney General Kamela D. Harris, urging her to block Prime Healthcare from acquiring the six hospitals.

However, Mr. Barrera says the union's president's "continued attempts to mislead legislators, the public and his own members is unconscionable and, if successful, will mean the loss of thousands of  jobs, the decimation of pensions for 17,000 current and past staff and force the six Daughters of Charity hospitals into bankruptcy."

More articles on healthcare transactions:

Trinity Health to acquire Saint Francis Care
Rockford Health System, Mercy Health System merger receives go-ahead
102-year-old hospital in New Jersey sells for $26M

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