On Dec. 16, 4,000 mental health workers at Kaiser Permanente HMO in Oakland went on a five-day strike, calling attention to a serious lack of resources to provide timely care.
Healthcare worker Htun Lin takes up the relationship between workers in healthcare in the U.S. who are told “not everyone can be saved,” and what is happening in Syria where the Syrian government, Russia and Iran are bombing civilians including–or especially–hospitals and healthcare workers.
2,600 mental health clinicians in California carried out a week-long strike over Kaiser Permanente’s “failure to provide timely, adequate care to patients.”
In the wake of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, only one person, Thomas Eric Duncan, has died on U.S. soil from the virus. But millions have been led to panic. Irresponsible politicians like Gov. Christie of New Jersey created a climate of fear. Ebola spreads only by intimate contact with biological fluids, but Christie called for mandatory quarantines on healthy healthcare workers like Kaci Hickox returning from West Africa….
From the September-October 2014 issue of News & Letters
South Carolina parents Mark and Pam Crawford, the Southern Poverty Law Center and Advocates for Choice filed federal and state lawsuits against South Carolina’s Department of Social Services and the healthcare workers responsible for the genital normalizing surgery performed on the Crawfords’ adopted child, known [=>]
Contract bargaining has begun between the California Nurses Association and Kaiser Permanente. CNA has steadfastly rejected management’s demand to hold negotiations in closed sessions.
Reliance on metrics in healthcare has become a new Taylorism, or management by time study. Everything in the hospital workplace is now tracked by sophisticated computer programs, down to every last pill, gauze and penny, and down to every last motion. This vast pool of information becomes Big Data.
May-June 2014 News & Letters online: “From the U.S. to Ukraine, crises and revolts call for philosophy”; “Unchaining the revolutionary dialectic”; much more…
On Jan. 6, RNs from the California Nurses Association (CNA) picketed a new state-of-the-art facility at Kaiser Oakland to protest increasing restrictions on access to care while decreasing frontline care staff. The opening was timed to coincide with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The January-February issue of News & Letters is online. Rampant U.S. surveillance slouches toward totalitarianism; Tahrir three years later; Charles Denby, worker-editor; Syrian revolution ‘brought us together’; Communization theory’s missing link: dialectical mediation; what happens after; Language and death in Juárez; Let RNs give care; …
Kaiser imposed added staff cuts in the same breath as it announced the “Total Health Incentive Plan” campaign. While it is promoted as voluntary, the program hides the reality of the health of workers and patients sacrificed daily in the name of cost efficiency. Workers realize they risk their own health and the health of their patients when they come to work sick. Yet we are called into disciplinary meetings when we exceed the company set limit in the number of sick days.
The new November-December 2013 issue of News & Letters is online.
News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 6
November – December 2013
The Syrian Revolution as the test of world politics
On Aug. 21 the genocidal regime of Bashar al-Assad murdered over a thousand civilians, mostly women and children, with sarin gas in the Damascus suburbs of Eastern Ghouta. [=>]
The phenomenon of human beings losing a race with machines is especially pernicious in the healthcare workplace. The computer has become the virtual boss of everyone in the shop, by setting the pace of everyone’s job.
by Htun Lin
Banks that were rescued because they were deemed “too big to fail” after they caused the 2008 economic collapse want to sue the government for trying to regulate their reckless behavior. The unspoken corporate motto where I work at the nation’s largest Health Maintenance Organization is, “We’re too big to care.”
Our CEO [=>]
by Htun Lin
Over a billion dollars has been spent in the last decade to comprehensively computerize the workplace at the nation’s largest HMO, where I work. For the executives, it’s as if the line between the virtual and the real has finally been eliminated. Not so for us rank-and-file workers, trying to provide real [=>]