Pinoy health care workers divided over sale of hospitals

DALY CITY, Calif. – Filipinos were among the hundreds of health care workers who gathered in Daly City, Calif. for a public hearing on the proposed sale of six California hospitals.

Hospital workers which included the California Nurses Association agree with the sale of the hospital system to Prime Healthcare Services.

Other workers which include the Service Employees International Union say that Prime is the wrong buyer.

One of the six hospitals includes Seton Medical Center. Seton employs many Filipino medical workers and provides health services to a predominantly Filipino community.

Some Seton staff members say that the sale is the only way the hospital will survive.

“Seton has done a lot of charity work in the community and its still doing it,” said Malou Young, a Seton registered nurse. “We want to preserve those services. We want to keep it intact.”

“Only Prime has the capability to provide such options to keep the hospital running,” said Seton Chief of Staff Herminigildo Valle, M.D. “It has the capital. It has the commitment to keep this open and the services open.

But other medical personnel say that Prime has a reputation of cutting healthcare services and jobs.

“It is very hard to believe that a for-profit company is going to maintain the safety net status of our hospital,” said Rudy Vallin, a Seton nurse and SEIU member.

“Prime is only for profit making,” said Lucy Nardo, a certified nursing assistant. “They are not after the care of the residents and the employees.”

According to the worker’s union, over 80 elected officials throughout California reject the sale including former Daly City mayor and current council member, Fil-Am Mike Guingona.

“I’m worried we are going to have a hospital after 2020 and I would like more of a commitment, a longer commitment perhaps 10 years that the hospital will stay open,” said Guingona.

State Attorney General Kamala Harris has until February 6 to approve or reject the sale or impose conditions. The Vatican must also approve the sale of the Catholic hospital system.

You can contact Rommel Conclara at and follow him on Twitter @rommelconclara for more information.

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  • Mario
    13 January 2015 at 1:25 am - Reply

    Six CA hospital for sale, all hospitals or any business does not want to work with the corrupt union leaders and members.Union are designed to bankrupt any kind of business.Prime Healthcare Services owned 27 Hospitals and most of their employees are Non-Union members.80 Democrat politicians rejected the sale, naturally it was the union supported them in form of campaign money.