Nurses, technical specialists, professionals and paramedics who work in the Crozer Health System took to the streets outside the Crozer-Chester Medical Center on Wednesday to protest service closures and to speak out against what they called parent company Prospect Medical Holdings insane. contempt for the patients and families of Delaware County.
The lunchtime information picket follows sweeping cuts to the county’s four hospitals.
Possible reductions include paramedic emergency cars in a number of communities.
Prospect announced in April that unless surrounding municipalities pay for the service, it would scale back — with no plan in place to deal with the void the decision will create — the Advanced Life Support response vehicle’s emergency medical service. , which consists of vehicles (called chase cars) flanked by paramedics
“You’re getting rid of these cars in Delaware County and you’re making the whole system short-staffed,” Crozer-Chester Medical Center paramedic Kate Denney, NREMT-Pm, said at a rally after the picket line. “You are pulling paramedics from further away, dangerously increasing response times and ultimately crippling these systems. There is a trickle down effect to these decisions which is very frightening for our community. »
Jeffery Witters, a paramedic supervisor at Crozer-Chester Medical Center and vice president of the Crozer-Chester Paramedics Association, said the closures would be disastrous.
“You can water it down however you want, but people are going to die from those decisions,” Witter said. “I received a call recently. I was the main paramedic on site; it took me 17 minutes to get there and I waited 35 minutes for an ambulance. You are understaffed across the region by cutting EMS services in an area that already needs more services, not less, and people are going to die.
Other closures announced by the company in April include the DCMH outpatient addiction clinic, the CCMC unit for acute addiction inpatients, the CCMC crisis center and all outpatient services for the treatment of mental health disorders and substance abuse at Chester Community Campus.
Crozer-Chester Medical Center nurse Peggy Malone, RN, and president of the Crozer-Chester Nurses Association, said the need for these units is growing.
. “Suicides are already on the rise due to the pandemic. Overdoses are already on the rise for the same reason. You shut down mental health services and incidents of violence will increase. Our police and emergency rooms will be overrun. Our county will be in chaos if what Prospect has planned is allowed.
A number of Delaware County elected officials were present at the protest, including State Senator John Kane, D-9 from Birmingham, State Rep. David Delloso, D-162 from Ridley Park, Rep. State Mike Zabel, D-163 of Upper Darby, State Representative Leanne Krueger, D-161 of Nether Province, and County Council members Dr. Monica Taylor and Richard Womack.
“Our community has been good to Crozer,” Womack said. “Crozer has been part of this community for many years, and for Crozer to do what they do – go out for profit, don’t care about clinics, don’t care about people’s health, don’t care of our community – this is despicable.
A recent Daily Times article showed Crozer Health received $72 million in federal aid during the pandemic.
A second information picket is scheduled for next Wednesday at Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Drexel Hill, where many ward closures have been announced by Prospect this year.