Calif. Unions Intensify Debate of Sale of Safety-Net Hospital Chain
Two California health care unions are at odds over the contentious sale of six-safety net hospitals, as the deadline for the state attorney general to approve or void the deal approaches, the Los Angeles Times reports (Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times, 2/17).
At issue is the sale of six hospitals run by not-for-profit Daughters of Charity Health System to Prime Healthcare Services. The hospitals include:
- O'Connor Hospital in San Jose;
- Saint Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy;
- Seton Coastside Hospital in Moss Beach;
- Seton Medical Center in Daly City;
- St. Francis Medical Center in Los Angeles County; and
- St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles County.
As part of the deal, Prime said it would spend about $150 million to bolster the health system's facilities, protect about 7,600 jobs and assume more than $300 million in pension guarantees (California Healthline, 1/7).
The sale is pending approval by State Attorney General Kamala Harris (D), who has until Friday to approve or reject the sale (California Healthline, 1/30).
Details of Unions' Arguments
California Nurses Association members have argued that the six hospitals would be closed if the sale does not go through, eliminating thousands of jobs and vital medical services for residents in the area.
Meanwhile, Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West has argued that the sale would reduce services for the poor.
On Tuesday, the debate intensified, as CNA members picketed outside the Office of the Attorney General to urge Harris to approve the sale, according to the Times.
SEIU-UHW criticized CNA for supporting the sale to Prime.
SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan said, "To jump in the boat with Prime ... is shameful" (Los Angeles Times, 2/17).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.