Hospitals Are Firing Doctors Speaking Out About Virus Protections (Video)

There is no shortage of encouragement and benevolence all around us during this global pandemic.

People get it we are all in this together.

No one embodies this sentiment more than those on the front line, like healthcare workers, who still–one month into the national emergency–have to improvise personal protective equipment (PPE) because the White House has left mostly Democratic states to compete against each other for it.

Unfortunately, the White House is not the only antagonist in this fight of our lives.

For-profit hospitals have been retaliating against healthcare workers for speaking out against preventable dangerous conditions.

An example of this is Dr. Ming Lin, a 30-year emergency physician at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Wash., who posted “SHAME ON PEACEHEALTH” to his Facebook page, vocalizing his concerns over the dearth of protective equipment, delays in coronavirus test results, and virus screening practices that involve evaluating patients in waiting rooms.

Last Wednesday, he posted about there being no designated staff decontamination areas, and “no way for us to prevent us from becoming the vector for our family and our community.”

Two days later, national medical staffing company, TeamHealth, fired him.

A TeamHealth spokesperson denies this, stating:

“Now more than ever, we need every available doctor, and we will work with Dr. Lin to find the right location for him.”

Dr. Lin is not alone.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital dismissed Chicago nurse Lauri Mazurkiewicz for warning coworkers the type of mask they were required to wear was “less safe and less effective” than N-95 masks.

NYU Langone Health in New York City issued a similar warning.

Ruth Schubert, a spokeswoman for the Washington State Nurses Association, explained:

“Hospitals are muzzling nurses and other health-care workers in an attempt to preserve their image. It is outrageous.”

Charlotte, N.C. radiologist Nisha Mehta manages two Facebook groups with 70,000 physicians.

She reports receiving myriad accounts from doctors who similarly warned about shining attention on problems they encounter handling coronavirus cases.

She told Bloomberg:

“I’m hearing widespread stories from physicians across the country and they are all saying: ‘We have these stories that we think are important to get out, but we are being told by our hospital systems that we are not allowed to speak to the press, and if we do so there will be extreme consequences. The public needs to hear these stories and other physicians need to hear them to be warned against what’s coming. It’s so important that everyone understands how bad this is going to get.”

Dr. Lin added:

“Our oath is to do no harm. I spoke out for patient safety and as a result I got terminated.”

Here is a series of various doctors’ tweets:

Perhaps it’s time for us to contact the for-profit health providers’ boards of directors and let them know what we think.

Image credit:

Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, The Broke Bohemian, Straight Forward Poetry, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to The Left Place blog on Substack, and Medium.