Actvists Protest San Francisco General Hospital’s Increased Security Measures Following Sept. 11 Attacks
Claiming that new security measures at San Francisco General Hospital are "scar[ing] away" patients, public health activists staged a protest Wednesday, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Following the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the hospital positioned guards at "all entrances"; other medical centers and governmental buildings took similar safety precautions throughout the Bay area and across the country. Under the new security policy, guards "quiz everyone who enters and asks where they're going." Nora Roman, a nurse in the hospital's Women's Clinic who attended the protest rally, said, "This hospital is not a target for terrorists. We don't need the security. We don't need to scare off patients. This is a public health institution and we need to make sure that our doors are open to everyone." Activists claim that the "sight" of the armed guards may have "deterred people from seeking care, especially undocumented immigrants" who may lack identification. The News reports that hospital administrators say that any threat posed by the Sept. 11 attacks is "no longer the main reason" for the added security. John Kanaley, San Francisco General's senior associate administrator, said, "We have had an overwhelming positive response from staff and doctors, who like the extra security. There are far fewer thefts and disturbances." The threat, now, according to Roman, is the denial of care. She concluded, "[I]t's something that hurts all of us." The hospital says it will continue to "weigh the pros and cons" of the new security policy (Koury, San Jose Mercury News, 10/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.