Could this be the tipping point uncovering how healthcare corporations provide poor treatment of employees & pts ?

Does this “dust up” by practitioners over inadequate PPE and the threat from their corporate employers of being fired – UNLESS THEY SHUT UP … are these same practitioners getting the same treatment and threats on prescribing controlled substances to pts that have a valid medical necessity for these medications.

We are in the middle of a pandemic and these healthcare corporations are threatening to REDUCE the number of practitioners that are available to treat/save pts that get COVID-19, because they have been outspoken about the lack of personal protection equipment and in some instances their very own health and maybe even life itself.

I have been told that all the major pharmacy chains have “social media policy” in their policies and procedures that basically states: 

We have a very serious and growing pharmacist surplus and it is reported that we are graduating 5,000 more new pharmacists each year than are needed for the available slots from older pharmacists retiring and moving on.

There has been a couple of newspaper articles in a couple of the large major cities about how UNHAPPY the employees of these large chain pharmacies – particularly the Rx dept staff – are.  There has been some stories of Rx dept staff that put up some dividers around the Rx dept pharmacy windows, only to have a district manager and/or other “shirts” to come in and take them down.

Could some of these deaths by healthcare providers become the focus of OSHA ( https://www.osha.gov/ ) or could we see a sudden focus of all of these personal injury law firms to start their focus on the policies and procedures of these major healthcare providers and how they are adversely affecting employees and pts health and safety.  How many of these policies and procedures are discriminating against many groups that work or seek healthcare services from these corporations.

Medical Societies Issue Bold Statement of Physician Support

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/928159

At least one physician has been fired for speaking out about the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) in his hospital. Another was informed he couldn’t wear a mask brought from home for fear of scaring the patients. One by one the stories piled up, and as they did, medical societies and organizations have issued statements with unprecedented speed, all in support of healthcare workers.

Finally, the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) had enough: it posted its own statement on behalf of all of its 45 member organizations, representing 800,000 physicians.

“You wouldn’t send a soldier into battle wearing a bathing suit,” said Laurence Wellikson, MD, the CEO of the CMSS member group Society of Hospital Medicine. “We’re asking for the same thing.”

Pre-COVID-19 efforts at coordinating policy statements typically took a month or two, Wellikson said. Different organizations will debate relative importance of policies and weigh in on wordsmithing. This time was different. “Every organization — especially the ones on the frontlines — was hearing awful things from doctors and we all wanted to fast-track this and get something out there.”

“Within two days we were able to reach complete consensus,” said Helen Burstin, MD, MPH, the CEO of CMSS. “If there was ever a time for our societies to come together with one voice to protect physicians, all healthcare workers, and patients, it’s now.”

The coalition’s five-point statement urges the government to ensure adequate supplies of PPE, supports the recent Joint Commission statement that allows healthcare workers to use their own PPE, reminds institutions of their responsibility to provide protection for their workers, and declares that a nationwide reporting system on PPE is needed.

The statement also informs hospitals, quite pointedly, that employees should not face any form of retribution for voicing concerns about health and safety, even to the media.

CMSS issued the statement, in part, because of “all the press we have seen about the threats and retaliation against clinicians if they reported,” Burstin said. “We wanted to say this publicly so that our members know it’s really critical they have this chance to share what they believe endangers their own safety as well as the safety of their patients.”

That echoes some of the individual organizations, said Robert McLean, MD, president of American College of Physicians (ACP), also a CMSS member.

“Our ethics policy is that physicians need to be able to speak out as part of professional and ethical respect on issues that affect public health and safety,” he said.

US doctors have been ringing the alarm bell to decry that hospitals and their employee-contracting companies don’t seem to embrace those ethics. Ming Lin, MD, one of several who have received media attention recently, spoke up on Facebook about inadequate PPE and crowded waiting rooms at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Washington. After doing so, he said, he was fired.

Many of the individual organizations have also posted their own statements. (The ACP’s April 1 statement, for example, is similar to that of CMSS). While some organizations will help counsel individual doctors facing retribution from their hospitals, McLean said their primary motivation “is because we realize the importance of raising public awareness and putting pressure on government and regulatory agencies.”

Sheila Eldred is a freelance health journalist in Minneapolis. Find her on Twitter @MilepostMedia.

Do you have information on how your hospital or health network is responding to PPE shortages, gag orders, or other related issues? Have you or someone you know faced disciplinary measures for speaking out or masking themselves? Write to us: news@medscape.net.

One Response

  1. We could only hope this open the proverbial can of worms that have infested every aspect of health care.We can only hope it goes down the line and investigates all the alphabet agencies and hopefully do away with them or have them totally revamped. The DEA for one is not the agency it was intended to be when it was formed. Can always look into the CDC n the FDA n see if they really serve any purpose other than creating mayhem. This pandemic hopefully wake up a lot of people and maybe redo thinking on these and other groups. Another thought is maybe the big chain pharmacies are getting too big and need to be addressed as well just a thought…………..

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