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New Whistleblower Report Says UC Short-Changing Patient Care at Medical Centers

March 7, 2013

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 7, 2013

CONTACT: Todd Stenhouse, tstenhouse@afscme3299.org, (916) 397-1131

New Whistleblower Report Says UC Short-Changing Patient Care at Medical Centers

Press Conference Call at 1 pm Today Frontline Providers Call for More State Oversight of California’s Fourth Largest Healthcare Delivery System

Oakland: Today, UC Patient Care Technical workers released a blistering whistleblower report on the management of the University of California’s five Medical Centers and the impact of recently implemented cost cutting strategies on both patients and front line providers.

Entitled, A Question of Priorities: Profits, Short Staffing and the Short-Changing of Patient Care at UC Medical Centers, the report documents a range of deficiencies–from reports of unsanitary facilities and Department of Public Health investigations dealing with hospital acquired infections, to first-hand accounts about priority care for well connected VIPs and the human cost of chronic understaffing at UC medical facilities. The report also includes a series of recommendations calling for greater State Oversight of California’s fourth largest healthcare delivery system.

Read an Executive Summary of the Report Here:
https://afscme3299.org/aquestionofpriorities

Read the Full Report Here:
https://afscme3299.org/putpatientsfirst

AFSCME 3299, which represents the frontline care providers who contributed to the report, will host a statewide press conference call today at 1 p.m., featuring whistleblowers from all five UC Medical Centers.

Telephone Conference Call—UC Patient Care Whistleblower Report:

Who: Kathryn Lybarger, President of AFSCME 3299 and UC Patient Care Workers from UC Davis, UC San Francisco, UC Irvine, UCLA, and UC San Diego Medical Centers

What: Press Conference Call on Release of UC Patient Care Whistleblower Report

When: Thursday, March 7, 2013, 1 p.m.

Dial Information: 559-726-1300; Passcode: 162612

Press Contact: Todd Stenhouse, tstenhouse@afscme3299.org, (916) 397-1131.

Background & Comments From Patient Care, Health and Consumer Advocates:

“A Question of Priorities”, was compiled based on inpatient discharge data, public health records, operating budgets and testimony from whistleblowers and frontline patient care providers from all five UC Medical Centers. The report was authored by AFSCME 3299, which represents the UCís Patient Care Technical workers and is currently in contract negotiations where staffing policies are a central issue.

“Both on the hospital floor and at the bargaining table, we’ve repeatedly asked UC to stop cutting corners at its Medical Centers”,said AFSCME 3299 President Kathryn Lybarger. “This report is about something much bigger than our members’ livelihoods. It’s about whether the UC is prioritizing quality care for the millions of Californians who put their lives in our hands.”

“As a health provider and mother of a daughter who battled chronic illness and suffered a life-threatening infection at a UC hospital, I am deeply concerned about what a culture of doing more with less could mean for frontline providers and UC patients”, said Dr. Julia Hallisy, President and Founder of the San Francisco based Empowered Patients Coalition. “This report shines light on critical frontline care issues with which advocacy groups have long been concerned—including staffing levels, patient safety, cleanliness and management bloat.”

“We think that all Californians deserve affordable, quality and safe patient care, but as this report suggests, there is more to do”, said Anthony Wright, Executive Director, Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition. “It saddens us whenever we read reports that some Californians are not getting the care they deserve, especially at the University of California hospitals, which should be the crown jewel of the California health care system just as the University of California should be the crown jewel of our system of higher education.”

Last modified: March 8, 2013

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