For months, nurses and patients at Kaiser Manteca have voiced concerns after seeing services and the entire third floor eliminated.
Wednesday night, they took those concerns to the streets hosting a vigil for patients and nurses.
Dorothy Aubrey, a nearly 50 year Kaiser member, says those changes are already affecting her and loved ones.
“There are several people around the neighborhood that have already been taken in the emergency and after siting there for several hours they put them in an ambulance and take them to Modesto because they have discontinued services here in Manteca,” said Aubrey.
Aubrey was among dozens in Manteca protesting at Kaiser’s headquarters in Oakland on Monday.
“They were asking a lot of questions trying to find out the problems we were having. They wanted to check into it. They wanted to set up some committees and do some studies,” said Aubrey.
In a statement, Kaiser denied allegations that the hospital was closing and continues to say the problem is a labor dispute with the nurses union.
Kaiser says an increase in the quality of health care has led to a declining trend of patients, pushing them to move services to bigger hospitals.
Nurses we talked to did not agree.
“We are a small hospital, but we are a community hospital and the community really needs to have those services here,” said nurse Ruth Somera.
The drop in services has also led to nurses being staffed elsewhere.
“Kaiser Permanente has made proposals to the union that would succeed in adjusting staffing and make sure that every nurse who wants a position has one,” said Corwin Harper, Senior Vice President and Area Manager, Kaiser Permanente Central Valley Area.
“I have been working. This effort I am making is not because I am not working, it is because it is the right thing to do,” said Somera.