At least two health workers were fired after they spoke out about the need for additional tests for coronavirus and extra protective equipment, as hospitals across the country have warned doctors and nurses not to publish information about the shortage of medicines caused by the pandemic. This writes The Hill.
The doctor the urgent care in Washington state was fired after criticism of working conditions in his hospital, where he worked for 17 years, and Lauri Mazurkiewicz, a nurse from Chicago (Illinos) was fired after warning colleagues that masks provide insufficient protection from coronavirus.
“Nurses and other health workers are exposed to attempts of hospitals to save their image, said Ruth Schubert, a representative of the Association of nurses in Washington state. — No healthcare worker should not be punished or fired for telling the truth.”
Ming Lin, doctor of the emergency Department at the medical center PeaceHealth St. Joseph in Bellingham, Washington, was fired after he spoke out about what he called the lack of protective measures.
Mazurkiewicz filed a lawsuit against his former employer for wrongful termination. She was fired for warning co-workers about what type of mask they had to wear, was “less safe and less effective” than a mask N-95.
As the country prepares for a sharp increase in the number of cases over the next few weeks, hospitals warn employees not to speak publicly about working conditions that may include a shortage of masks and gowns, as well as beds and apparatus for lung ventilation.
The doctor who manages two Facebook groups with over 70 000 followers, said she’s heard numerous reports from doctors who have been warned their hospitals, so they didn’t pay attention to the problems they encounter when processing the influx of patients with coronavirus.
“I hear common stories from doctors across the country, and they all say: “we Have data that we believe to be important and the public needs to know, but our hospitals forbid us to speak, and if we do this, the consequences will be dire,” said a radiologist from Charlotte (NC), Nisha Mehta.
“The public needs to hear these stories, and other doctors need to hear them, added Mehta. It is very important to understand how bad it is”.
In hospital authorities claim that it is a part of the accepted measures to protect the privacy of patients.
Health care workers such as Lin, saying that to sound the alarm about unsafe working conditions — part of the duties of a doctor.
“Our oath to do no harm, Lin said. — I spoke about the safety of patients and staff, and as a result I was fired”.
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