Nurses and support staff at HCA Healthcare, the largest for-profit hospital chain in the U.S., plan to strike Friday in protest over cuts and concessions the corporation is pushing on front-line health care workers as the coronavirus continues to spread nationwide.
The Guardian and KHN have so far identified reports of 679 front-line health care workers who have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. amid continuing reports of long hours and shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Erin McIntosh, a nurse in the code blue/rapid response department at the HCA-owned Riverside Community Hospital in Riverside, California, for six years, is one of around 1,000 nurses represented by SEIU Local 121RN planning to strike in protest of hospital understaffing during the pandemic, which they say violates California’s nurse-to-patient ratio laws.
“HCA has continuously not upheld their end of the mediation agreement of our nurses staying in ratio,” said McIntosh. The agreement