San Francisco General not prepared for coronavirus, hospital staff says

San Francisco General Hospital's nurses and physicians warn that the hospital is understaffed and unprepared to deal with the novel coronavirus, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. 

The warning came March 5 as city healthcare workers rallied outside city hall and attended a Board of Supervisors committee hearing. The Chronicle reports that workers are pushing for more staffing and resources as COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus from China, continues to spread. 

Nurses also warned that San Francisco General, the city's largest public hospital, is unprepared for an outbreak. 

"We're on the verge of a pandemic, and we have no proper staffing — we are not ready,"  Theresa Rutherford, vice president of San Francisco's Service Employees International Union, said, according to the newspaper. "The nurses have been warning this city. They have not listened."

Ms. Rutherford was reportedly joined by about 75 city registered nurses, resident physicians and social workers outside city hall before the board hearing, which took place the same day that San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced two confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city.

During the hearing, supervisors considered a resolution urging the city's public health department to include nurses and physicians in general decision-making, expedite hiring, support bilingual staff and provide violence prevention and disaster preparedness training annually, according to the Chronicle.

The city's mayor said San Francisco is boosting resources and staffing to prepare for COVID-19, and the city's health system "is prepared to deliver care to everyone in need and provide a coordinated response as additional cases of the novel coronavirus are confirmed."

According to the Chronicle, Supervisor Ahsha Safaí called on public health officials to aggressively speed up the hiring process to as short as 30 days. 

Read the full report here.


More articles on workforce:

Hospital job growth slowed in February
Washington state nurses seek greater transparency about coronavirus, union says
'Don't panic' workers about coronavirus, employment attorney says

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