Two healthcare workers fired after speaking out about the failures of our healthcare system
As hospitals scramble to care for patients and staff alike, some doctors and nurses said they might face retaliation for speaking out about the lack of safe and sanitary health practices.
An ER doctor in Washington state said he was fired last week after speaking out about his working conditions at the hospital where he had spent 17 years of his career. Meanwhile, a nurse in Chicago was fired after warning colleagues that they would be working without adequate protection against the fatal virus.
ER doctor, Dr. Ming Lin took to his Facebook page to vent about the unsafe practices at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Wash. Writing, “Despite potential COVID exposure (every patient is a potential) staff were free to roam the hospital. There is no area for all us to decontaminate, no scrubs or laundry. No way for us to prevent us from becoming the vector for our family and our community.”
The post garnered national attention, many calling him brave – yet Dr. Ming told CBC News that he was terminated after going public. See the video below:
Lauri Mazurkiewicz, a nurse at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital, says she was fired after sending an email to over a dozen colleagues about the lack of N95 mask.
“Hospitals should have been better prepared,” she told the Chicago Tribune. “They should have been able to protect the front line.”
Suppressing voice from concerned healthcare workers only builds the stress, anxiety and unrest among citizens.
“Hospitals are muzzling nurses and other health-care workers in an attempt to preserve their image,” said Ruth Schubert, a spokeswoman for the Washington State Nurses Association. “It is outrageous.”
It is not uncommon for hospitals to have strict media guidelines, mostly to protect patient privacy. Generally, hospitals only share information inside their facility when it goes through the official public relations offices.
But this global pandemic is changing all of that, says Schubert.
It’s the responsibility of the nurses and doctors to “tell the public what is really going on inside the facilities where they are caring for Covid-19 patients,” she said.