Workers call on HCA to boost staffing at 150+ hospitals

Hundreds of members of the Service Employees International Union plan to rally Jan. 12 at West Hills (Calif.) Hospital and Medical Center over staffing at hospitals owned by Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare, according to a union news release shared with Becker's.  

Union members said they are calling on HCA to boost staffing levels at more than 150 hospitals across 19 states owned and operated by the company. Healthcare workers from HCA hospitals in California, Florida, Texas, Nevada and Kansas are also slated to participate in a call for safer staffing, better working conditions and improved patient care. 

"Three years into the COVID-19 pandemic, and grappling with this winter's record-setting flu and RSV waves, dedicated HCA care teams have reached their breaking point," SEIU said.

The rally is planned as labor contracts at HCA's four Southern California facilities — West Hills, Riverside Community Hospital, Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, and Thousand Oaks Surgical Hospital — will expire in September, the Orange County Register reported Jan. 9.

West Hills shared the following statement with Becker's: "At West Hills Hospital and Medical Center, we believe a strong culture of respect and collaboration among our colleagues is critical to our mission. We value all members of our care teams and we provide a safe environment for our patients and we staff our care teams appropriately and in compliance with state regulations."

The hospital also pointed to recent recognitions from Healthgrades for quality of care for cardiac care, critical care, orthopedics and spine surgery. Additionally, West Hills pointed to its rank among the top hospitals in Los Angeles County for heart attack treatment response time.

The Jan. 12 "activity is an expected tactic as we are set to begin our regular cycle of bargaining with the labor union in the next few weeks," the hospital said.

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