CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Several health care workers within the Corpus Christi Medical Center protested outside of Doctor's Regional Hospital on Friday.
They demanded their parent company HCA provide more personal protective equipment to their employees in order to protect patients and themselves.
“We need to be aware that this virus is all around us,” said Ian Northrup, a Corpus Christi Medical Center ER Tech. “It's dangerous to work in a hospital on a good day, let alone when there's a global pandemic going on.”
“Since the beginning of this pandemic, CC Medical Center has provided all the PPE from myself to our staff to provide safe patient care," said Critical Care Nurse Practitioner Robert Galbreath. “In this time of pandemic, I believe it is time for us to unite and have one solid goal to care for patients.”
Corpus Christi Medical Center issued a statement of its own Friday evening:
"Corpus Christi Medical Center, an HCA Healthcare-affiliated hospital, has been doing everything in our power to protect our colleagues and patient care teams throughout the pandemic and equip them to provide safe, effective care to our patients by following or exceeding CDC protocols. We have provided appropriate PPE, including a universal masking policy requiring all staff in all areas to wear masks in line with CDC guidance. While we currently have adequate supplies of PPE, we continue to provide safeguards that are consistent with CDC guidelines and help ensure the protection of our colleagues, not only today, but into the future as the pandemic evolves. The SEIU fails to recognize the reality all hospitals nationwide are facing, that this pandemic has strained the worldwide supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, face shields, and gowns. This is especially surprising since the SEIU itself fell victim to an alleged N95 manufacturing scam that is now part of a U.S. Justice Department investigation [cnn.com].
Similar to other healthcare providers, the spread of COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on Corpus Christi Medical Center, simultaneously reducing revenues and increasing expenses. The CARES Act funding HCA Healthcare hospitals have received to date represents only a portion of our anticipated lost revenue and increased expenses resulting from the pandemic. To provide even more perspective, HCA Healthcare’s 180 U.S. hospitals provide about 5 percent of all inpatient hospital services in the country while we have received less than 2 percent of the CARES Act provider relief funds distributed to date. For a more detailed understanding of the CARES Act and the funding relief to our hospitals, please see a recent letter [hcahealthcare.com]from our CFO and FAQ."