Kaiser mental health worker strike to expand to Hawaii

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Fifty psychological healthcare employees at Kaiser Permanente websites in Hawaii plan to enroll in colleagues in Northern California in an open-ended strike over get entry to to care. 

Hawaii employees will strike Aug. 29, in step with a information liberate from the Nationwide Union of Healthcare Employees, which represents the psychologists, social employees, psychiatric nurses and chemical dependency counselors. Two thousand psychological well being employees in California started a strike Monday

Employees in each states say inadequate staffing ranges and lengthy wait instances put affected person well being and protection in jeopardy. Hawaii psychological well being clinicians staged a three-day strike over the similar issues in Might. The Hawaii bankruptcy of the Nationwide Union of Healthcare Employees shaped 4 years in the past and has but to agree on a freelance with Oakland-based Kaiser Permanente.

Kaiser Permanente didn't straight away reply to a request for remark.  

The Nationwide Committee for High quality Assurance positioned Kaiser’s Hawaii plans underneath “corrective motion” in Might over behind schedule get entry to to psychological healthcare. In a letter, the organziation wrote that “loss of get entry to to [behavioral healthcare] for Kaiser contributors poses a possible affected person protection chance and that Kaiser’s prior efforts to enhance get entry to to [behavioral healthcare] have in large part been useless.”

Andrea Kumura, a certified medical social employee at Kaiser Permanente Waipio Scientific Place of work and a member of the Hawaii bargaining committee, stated new sufferers are ready months for consumption appointments.

“Kaiser likes to mention that is because of COVID. It’s now not because of COVID. Our division has all the time been understaffed and sufferers have all the time needed to wait. It’s gotten extra intense all over COVID,” Kumura stated. “As a result of we're so understaffed and the wait instances are see you later for our sufferers, we mainly can’t get them higher.”