Bloomberg reports that "hospitals are threatening to fire health-care workers who publicize their working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic -- and have in some cases followed through."
The story notes that "doctors are a famously independent profession, where individual medical judgment on what’s best for the patient is prized over administrative dictates. That’s reared its head during the Covid-19 outbreak, with many physicians, nurses and other health-care workers taking to social media to express deep concerns about the lack of protective gear or much-needed patient-care equipment like respirators. Some posts have gone viral and are being shared hundreds of thousands of times, often tagged with #GetMePPE. Privacy laws prohibit disclosing specific patient information, but they don’t bar discussing general working conditions."
However, the story says, "Hospitals have traditionally had strict media guidelines to protect patient privacy, urging staff to talk with journalists only through official public relations offices."
But the current situation - and the lack of resources available to many health care workers in hot zones like New York City - has energized many in the medical community, prompting them to turn to social media to draw attention to the plight of their patients.
You can read the story here.
- KC's View:
First of all, I'm amazed that at this point in time anyone would fire any health care employee. I mean, really?
This also is a good lesson in how front line employees have the ability to draw attention, via social media, to what they see as injustices and inequalities. It may make the higher reaches of bureaucracies uncomfortable, but this is the world in which we live.
I, of course, have a bias … I believe in the old newspaper axiom that they exist to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.