June 16, 2018
Since mid-March, HPAE Local 5186 at Christ Hospital and HPAE Local 5185 at Bayonne Medical Center representing nearly 1,300 nurses and health professionals, have been fighting to protect services at both hospitals.
At Bayonne Medical Center, the management of the dialysis unit is being transferred to Fresenius, a for-profit national chain with a history of investigations into Medicaid fraud and patient exposure to unsafe conditions.
With a contract deadline looming, nurses and health professionals represented by HPAE at CarePoint Health have just been informed of administration’s intention to close the inpatient Pediatric unit at Christ Hospital. After several weeks of bargaining this news has fueled an already contentious set of negotiations.
“For decades the staff at Bayonne Medical Center have provided treatment and support in a safe environment. As Fresenius takes over dialysis services, the dedicated and experienced staff will no longer be at our patients’ side, creating a disturbance in care and potentially putting patient care at risk. The transition from Fresenius was not seamless, and patient care needs may at risk or leave patients feeling abandoned.” said John Bauer, RN and President of HPAE Local 5185.
The NJ Department of Health has approved the Certificate of Need application authorizing Fresenius to operate dialysis services in the Bayonne facility as of June 11. CarePoint has yet to file the Certificate of Need application to close the Pediatric Unit at Christ Hospital, and informed the union they will file the application by June 30th.
“This news raises concerns that further health care services will continue to be diminished either by outsourcing or closures,” said Nicole Mankowski, RN and President of HPAE Local 5186 at Christ Hospital.
Contact: Bridget Devane, MSW, HPAE Public Policy Director