California nurses protest recent layoffs amid crisis

ESCONDIDO, CA — It’s back on the picket lines for these San Diego nurses.

After 221 per diem employees and part-time nurses were temporarily laid off from Palomar Medical Center earlier this month, hospital workers and members of the California Nurses Association caravanned through Escondido to call for more staff, and personal protective equipment.

Sa mga floors mga kiikita mo mga alaga ng COVID patients mali kung ratio kasi and 3 to 1 ratio hindi safe. In our floors where there are COVID-19 patients, the nurse to patient ratio is not safe, with 3 to 1.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic forced hospitals to scale back on non-emergency procedures, Palomar had laid off workers for three weeks in early April.

Workers were expecting the temporarily laid off staff to go back to work by this week, however, they say very few were called back.

“Only 3 has been recalled we are here to support them, that we need to be recalled, because its time to go back to work. We’re struggling, in distressed and burned out the ratio is absolutely wrong for the COVID patients, and we have a lot of nurses that has been laid off.”

Despite these protests, the layoffs will continue. Palomar announced on Tuesday that it will eliminate 317 positions, due to lost revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hospital said the layoffs would help ensure the organization can continue providing healthcare to North San Diego County residents now and in the future.

The hospital had lost some $5.7 million due to the suspension of elective surgeries.

It said it will resume the surgical procedures based on the availability of personal protective equipment and virus testing.

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