CAPE COD, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — COVID-19 is hitting a range of industries with financial issues, including the health sector. On Mother's Day, hundreds of medical staff in the Cape Cod Healthcare System will be furloughed amid the pandemic.
According to the Massachusetts Nurses Association, the CEO of Cape Cod Health Care has announced that on Sunday, there will be 600 workers furloughed for at least a month without pay, including 50 nurses and dozens of support staff at
”Nurses and other members of our health care team are astounded by this callous and short sighted decision," said Shannon Sherman, RN, chair of the nurses Massachusetts Nurses Association local bargaining unit at Cape Cod Hospital.
Sherman said the MNA believes the decision "will place all of our patients in jeopardy and have dangerous consequences for the remaining staff, who are already exhausted from working under what has been the most trying time for health care workers."
The Cape Cod Health Care system is citing a loss in revenue for the furloughs, which are due to the reduction in elective surgeries amid the global pandemic. The system says it has lost nearly 41 percent of revenue, and it is projected to lose $74 million through the end of the fiscal year due to this crisis.
In addition, the health system says "all executives, vice presidents, executive directors, directors and managers will have salary reductions ranging from 12.5 percent to 5 percent through October 3, 2020."
The MNA says the health system's decision to cut staffing levels in the midst of the pandemic comes "as the Government has reported it has awarded Cape Cod Healthcare more than $20 million from the federal stimulus package," as well as cuts to payroll taxes and a significant increase to reimbursement rates for the care of COVID patients.
“We have been risking our lives and our families lives every day for our community and this health care system, and to now have our CEO, who has never cared for a patient, or made any of the sacrifices we have made, is now implementing staffing cuts that will threaten the safety of our patients," said Sherman. "It is nothing short of disgusting.”
WBZ NewsRadio's Jim MacKay reports: