Nurses protest San Jose hospital’s plan to shut down women’s services amid pandemic

SAN JOSE, CA — For the second time in at least two weeks — the medical staff of regional medical center in San Jose, Calif. held a protest outside of the hospital.

Regional Medical Center is a for-profit hospital run by Hospital Corporation of America, or HCA.

Management is planning to terminate the hospital’s birthing services, including maternal-child health and neonatal intensive care by end of May, according to the California Nurses Association that represents the nurses.

“This community needs our services and also to let HCA know that they are also important. They might not be insured. Some of them, a lot of them are uninsured, underprivileged, and they deserve optimal care when it comes to having their babies here,” said Jocelyn Mallari.

According to these nurses, they deliver about a thousand babies a year,

Management reasoned that expectant mothers can still go to neighboring hospitals such as Good Samaritan or O’Connor.

But these protesting nurses said they’re not as accessible.

“They say 15 minutes. It could take 45 minutes or even an hour. And so for emergencies, a lot of people don’t know, babies inside moms might not have 45 minutes or even 15 minutes to live. So it’s very important that these mothers get the care that they need when they need it.”

The nurses and hospital staff also spoke up about other concerns, especially the lack of proper personal protective equipment for nurses, as well as safe staffing.

“Basically title 22 affords patient safety by giving us ratio. So in the intensive care unit, when we have two sick patients, the maximum number, it’ll be two patients to one nurse. That’s law. It’s been law for multiple double-digit years. That’s not going to change,” said Desiree Lockley.

Elected leaders have joined the healthcare workers in calling for the hospital’s birthing services to remain open.

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