Medical Staff Protest Layoffs of Nurses by Palomar Hospital in the Middle of the Pandemic

by on April 13, 2020 · 3 comments

in Health, Labor, San Diego

Monday morning, April 13, nurses and other medical staff staged a work action to protest the layoffs of nurses by Palomar Medical Center.

At least 83 registered nurses and 63 health care workers were given temporary layoffs by the Palomar Health management. This seems like such an outrageous act by Palomar in the middle of this public health crisis.

The action was sponsored by Palomar Health registered nurses and health care workers and members of California Nurses Association and Caregivers and Healthcare Employees Union. The protest was at Palomar Medical Center in Poway, at 15615 Pomerado Road.

The protesting medical workers also spoke of the lack of PPE and other protections for frontline health care workers.

Palomar Health is a public health district with a principle to care for the community. Recently, the Public Health Board of Directors and Palomar Health management made the decision to move forward with temporary layoffs of nurses and health care workers.

At least 83 registered nurses and 63 health care workers were given such temporary layoffs. Palomar Health has failed to provide an accurate list of affected employees and, therefore, the union fears the number of laid off employees is growing and much larger than reported.

Additionally, Palomar has stated health insurance benefits of affected employees may be revisited if temporary layoffs are extended, leading to the end of Palomar Health provided benefits for these employees. Front line providers have been caring for patients during this pandemic and need appropriate health care coverage to remain safe.

Layoffs come on the heels of Palomar Health announcing the opening of a 250 bed FEMA field hospital while health care workers have been struggling to obtain the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to provide safe patient care and maintain necessary airborne precautions to ensure that nurses and caregivers do not spread the infection to patients, their families, and the community.

Laying off essential healthcare workers is not in line with preparing for the surge.

For more information, please contact; Ginger Faustino, (702) 509-0172,; or Sara Gurling, (818) 216-6485, .

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie April 13, 2020 at 10:54 pm

OB Rag rec’d this: “The California is Nurses Association and the Caregivers and Healthcare Employees Union wish to express our gratitude to the OB Rag Blog and all of our pro- labor, pro- justice friends there, for today’s coverage of this healthcare worker’s action.
In solidarity, Sara Gurling Labor Representative “


triggerfinger April 15, 2020 at 12:00 pm

There is no surge and hospitals in CA are well below capacity. Sorry to disappoint, I know you were really hoping for lots of death so some politicians would look really bad.

From IHME at UofW:


triggerfinger April 15, 2020 at 12:06 pm

I’ll defer to the hospitals on how best to manage their staffing and funding at this time. They are not charity organizations. They are struggling financially and this move will free up funding so they can provide better care for patients who’s life is on the line. Those laid off can seek benefits like everyone else.

“As a public healthcare district, we take our responsibility to provide care to our community very seriously and must adjust staffing levels to patient volume to remain solvent” -Palomar Health President


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