Sadly, I continue to read more and more stories of healthcare professionals dying of Covid-19. News of flattening the curve, distracts from the continuing deaths of people on the front line. Healthcare workers are terrified of getting the disease, knowing facilities do not have enough PPE to correctly protect them, but they still go to work and care for the sick.
Hospital board members, CEO’s, COO’s and CMO’s need to work on the front line, in the same conditions that they are asking their employees to work in. They need to understand the dilemma people are facing. Go to work and risk getting Covid-19, or stay home and lose your job and health insurance? Speak up about safety violations by the hospital and risk losing their jobs or go to work and risk infection?
It must be possible to value healthcare workers and care for patients. Workers must initiate change for a broken healthcare system.
I believe and will advocate for the following:
Healthcare professionals are our most valuable resources and should be protected. Employee rights should be equal to or greater than the rights of institutions like hospitals. Hospitals should not be allowed to include clauses detrimental to employee rights in contracts like no compete clauses. Employees should be allowed to form unions to collectively bargain for rights and protect individual employees from retaliation.
Human dignity, rights, and health should come before profits. There should be limits on CEO multi-million dollar salaries, while workers at the bottom of their organizations make minimum wage.
Patients should be seen as human beings, not as way to increase profits.
America is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. It is time we became the most ethical and caring country too. We must demand change and not surrender. If not now, during the darkest health crisis in modern history, when? It is time to stand up for our beliefs.