MINNEAPOLIS — As of 7 a.m. Monday, 15,000 healthcare workers in the Twin Cities and Duluth hit the picket lines in the largest private sector nurse strike in the country's history. With the Minnesota Nurses Association now on strike, Minnesotans can expect to see some differences during their next hospital visit during the three-day strike.
According to the union, this is the largest private sector nurses strike in American history. After five months of failed negotiations with seven hospital groups, the MNA voted "overwhelming" for a strike on Aug. 15.
From Sept. 12 through Sept. 15, healthcare workers will picket outside of 15 hospitals across Minnesota. With so many nurses on strike and hospitals affected, Minnesotans' trip to the hospital during the strike may look very different.
Four hospitals under Allina Health will be impacted by the strike - Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Mercy Hospital, Mercy Hospital - Unity Campus and United Hospital in St. Paul. No other Allina Health hospital, clinics, surgery centers and other sites will be affected.
According to the hospital group, all four hospitals will continue to be open and staffed by physicians, non-nurse staff members, some MNA nurses and temporary nurses. It will also have security at each hospital to "ensure everyone's safety" at the picket line.
"We intentionally have built flexibility into our plans and continuously evaluate our operations," Allina Health said in a statement. "While we are making every effort to minimize disruptions to patient care, our hospitals continue to be full, and we are preparing to make the necessary adjustments to ensure we are meeting the community’s emergent and on-going health care needs."
If anyone's scheduled appointments will be impacted by the strike, Allina Health will reach out to them directly.
Children's Minnesota says it is fully prepared to continue offering normal healthcare to every kid who needs it and will have licensed staff so all services and care continue as usual. Patients are advised to allow for extra time when traveling to the hospital and to use caution around the picket line.
"We assure you that patient safety and quality care will never be compromised," Children's Minnesota says.
On its website, Essentia Health is operating as normal at its St. Mary's Duluth and St. Mary's Superior locations and "we do not anticipate a significant impact on your patient experience."
If clients' appointments or procedures are impacted by the strike, Essentia Health will reach out to those affected.
According to the hospital group, negotiations with the MNA on Sept. 6 ended without any tentative agreements made, but "we feel important progress was made and that we are in a position to move negotiations forward productively."
HealthPartners' Methodist Hospital will be impacted by the strike, while the hospital group's other locations in Minnesota are operating normally.
"We want to assure you that we’re fully prepared to continue providing the same safe, high-quality care and services you’ve come to expect," HealthPartners' website states.
If any clients or patients feel uncomfortable seeking care amid the strike at Methodist Hospital, HealthPartners is offering several other locations for people to receive care at.
People attending on-site classes, support groups or any other events are urged to contact the event organizer before attending.
M Health Fairview
According to M Health Fairview, Southdale Hospital, St. John’s Hospital, Bethesda Hospital Long-Term Acute Care (LTAC), University of Minnesota Medical Center - West Bank, and Masonic Children’s Hospital will be impacted by the strike.
M Health says its clinics and hospitals will continue to be staffed and people can "seek care from us like normal."
The only hospital in North Memorial's network impacted by the strike is the North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale, according to the hospital group.
North Memorial will continue to provide care to patients, but it "may be making some adjustments to non-emergency care and services to ensure adequate and safe staffing during the strike period."
If anyone's healthcare is impacted by the MNA strike, North Memorial says it will reach out to affected patients directly.
"We encourage customers to continue to seek healthcare services from North Memorial Health as they ordinarily would," the group says.
As of Sept. 8, St. Luke's Duluth says it believes the "strike at this time would be illegal" because the MNA failed to complete a required filing. However, the hospital group says it has worked with a staffing agency to bring in all of the qualified professionals needed while the MNA goes on strike.
"We will continue to offer all services and will be fully open for all inpatient, emergency and clinic-based care, although we may reschedule some non-urgent surgeries and procedures," St. Luke's says. "Patients should arrive as scheduled unless they hear differently from their provider."
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