Healthcare

Socialist Equality Party (Australia) holds online health workers’ forum

By our reporter, 29 September 2020

Australian health workers speak out over the lack of PPE and proper training to deal with COVID-19, and the government’s run-down of the healthcare system.

Pennsylvania nursing students demand refunds, financial support due to COVID policies

By Alex Johnson, 26 September 2020

Students say their calls for adequate support and transparency, quality education, reduced costs and licensing accommodations have been met with indifference and hostility from university administrators.

SEIU and Illinois Nurses Association announce tentative agreements with University of Illinois at Chicago

By James Martin and Marcus Day, 25 September 2020

Simultaneously with the announcement of the deal, SEIU 73 shut down the 10-day strike by 4,000 university workers without releasing the full details of the agreement.

The CDC retracts its guidance that stipulated the airborne danger of the coronavirus

By Benjamin Mateus, 23 September 2020

Though the CDC said it had erroneously published the unvetted draft, the political fallout faced by the CDC suggests it was a political maneuver to save face.

Strike by 4,000 service workers at University of Illinois at Chicago enters its second week

By Andy Thompson and Fabian Salgado, 23 September 2020

To oppose the sellout being prepared, striking hospital workers must follow the examples of auto workers and educators by forming rank-and-file committees.

Trump on coronavirus pandemic: “Virtually nobody” affected

By Joseph Kishore—SEP candidate for US President, 23 September 2020

The indifference expressed by Trump to death on a mass scale expresses not only his personal outlook but the social policy of the ruling class.

Johnson government says UK COVID-19 infections could hit 50,000 per day as pandemic spins “out of control”

By Robert Stevens, 22 September 2020

Chief Scientific Officer Sir Patrick Vallance, an early advocate of a “herd immunity” strategy, conceded that only an estimated 8 percent of the population had been infected and that the majority of the population remain susceptible.

Whistle-blowers speak out as German authorities cover up coronavirus cases at schools and day-care centres

By Martin Nowak and Gregor Link, 22 September 2020

Despite hundreds of teaching and care facilities being infected, school and health authorities, as well as the federal and state governments, with the support of the trade unions, are doing everything in their power to continue reopening schools.

Spike in Canada’s COVID-19 infections exposes criminality of back-to-work, back-to-school drive

By Roger Jordan, 22 September 2020

The dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases is the direct outcome of the ruling elite’s criminal back-to-work and back-to-school policies, which are aimed at guaranteeing corporate profits regardless of the cost in human lives.

Opposition mounts at the University of Michigan as COVID-19 outbreaks emerge on campus

By Jesse Thomas, 22 September 2020

The possibility that the university administration delayed the public announcement of the cases until after the strike was officially smothered cannot be discounted.

Strike by 4,000 University of Illinois at Chicago workers reaching critical juncture

By Jessica Goldstein, 21 September 2020

The only way for service workers and nurses at UIC and UIH to combat poverty wages and the threat of the pandemic is to take their struggle into their own hands.

SEIU calls off health care strike in Minnesota after Allina hospital system threatens legal action

By Jonas Boquist, 21 September 2020

The cancellation of the strike comes as 4,000 workers at the University of Illinois at Chicago in SEIU Local 73 remain on picket lines in Chicago, Peoria, Rockford and Urbana.

UK firms awarded billions in NHS/government contracts amid failure of COVID-19 testing system

By Julie Hyland, 21 September 2020

The largest intended privatisation is the £100 billion-plus expansion of the national coronavirus testing programme “Operation Moonshot.”

As COVID-19 deaths approach one million

WHO condemns governments’ failure to prepare for pandemic

By Bryan Dyne, 21 September 2020

The pandemic has exposed the contradiction between the highly integrated nature of modern society and the outmoded and irrational nation-state system of capitalism.

Union shuts down nurses strike at University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago

By George Gallanis and Fabian Salgado, 19 September 2020

The Illinois Nurses Association ended the strike without a new contract and isolating 4,000 staffers on the picket line.

New cases of COVID-19 reach a one-day high of nearly 308,000 worldwide

By Benjamin Mateus and Patrick Martin, 15 September 2020

The number of new cases of COVID-19 hit a new one-day high of nearly 308,000 worldwide, bringing the global total to almost 30 million cases and 930,000 deaths. The United States alone will reach 200,000 deaths by mid-week.

Israel becomes first country to impose second national COVID-19 lockdown

By Jean Shaoul, 15 September 2020

Israel now tops the world rankings in the number of new COVID-19 cases per capita.

Four thousand University of Illinois at Chicago staff join striking nurses

By Kristina Betinis and Marcus Day, 15 September 2020

The now nearly 5,000 university health and staff workers are locked in a battle against the Democratic state leadership and must expand their struggle for health and safety.

Washington, DC mayor calls for reopening of public schools amid pandemic

By Nick Barrickman, 15 September 2020

The announcement comes despite a late-July decision banning in-person teaching throughout the fall.

Dramatic spike in Philippines’ coronavirus death toll

By Owen Howell, 15 September 2020

The official death toll reached 4,371 on Saturday, but the record of incorrect figures suggests that the real total could be much higher.

Hospital merger between Beaumont and Advocate-Aurora Health faces internal opposition

By Kevin Reed, 15 September 2020

The merger plans have been slowed down by opposition from Beaumont staff and a group of donors who are calling on the Board of Directors to fire the management team.

The precedents for disease eradication through international cooperation

Part one

By Frank Gaglioti, 15 September 2020

An examination of the historical record demonstrates that infectious diseases like COVID-19 can be eliminated.

“In the end, it is all about profit"

University of Illinois Hospital nurses strike over staff shortages, unsafe conditions

By Benjamin Mateus and George Gallanis, 14 September 2020

UIH nurses in Chicago walked out Saturday to demand patient limits and safe work environments.

Why did so many poor New Yorkers die of COVID-19?

By Josh Varlin, 12 September 2020

Inequality, including in-hospital care, determined whether thousands of people in New York City would die of COVID-19.

Mexico runs out of death certificates with 122,765 “excess deaths” reported during pandemic

By Norissa Santa Cruz and Carlos Reed, 12 September 2020

The Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has done nothing to prevent the virus from claiming the lives of tens of thousands, most of them poor workers.

Smoking in the age of COVID: Some immunological considerations

By Henry Hakamaki, 12 September 2020

Smoking and e-cigarettes are directly associated with increased risk of infection by the novel coronavirus.

University of Iowa students and staff respond to one-day sickout

By Brian Brown and Andy Thompson, 11 September 2020

University of Iowa faculty and students continue to protest against the administration’s reluctance to transition to 100 percent online learning, despite an additional 220 students who tested positive for COVID-19 in one day.

Iraqi health care workers threaten nationwide strike to demand resources to fight pandemic

By Jean Shaoul, 11 September 2020

Iraq had initially contained the pandemic with lockdown measures, but cases and deaths have more than doubled since early July, when the government began the gradual lifting of restrictions.

Australian study reveals rise in mental health problems during COVID-19 pandemic

By John Mackay, 10 September 2020

The data shows that services remain woefully inadequate to deal with the impact of the pandemic and its aftermath.

University of Illinois Hospital nurses poised to strike over unsafe staffing conditions

By Benjamin Mateus, 9 September 2020

UIH nurses in Chicago are set to begin a week-long strike over unsafe staffing ratios, which have provoked several stoppages by nurses across the country during the pandemic.

Mounting evidence of COVID-19 reinfection

By Henry Hakamaki, 31 August 2020

Several recent studies suggest that survivors of the coronavirus can come down with a second case after recovering from a first infection.

Under pressure from the White House, CDC issues guidelines for less COVID-19 testing

By Benjamin Mateus, 27 August 2020

The change in guidelines has been met with a barrage of anger and dismay among various health experts and physician groups who have repeatedly stated that the key to suppressing the infection is broad, mass testing of the population.

“We refuse to lay down our lives for profit or participate in a poorly designed, underfunded, deadly experiment”

Florida educators launch rank-and-file committee to oppose unsafe school openings

By Duval County Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 27 August 2020

Teachers and their supporters have set up a rank-and-file safety committee in Duval County, Florida, which includes Jacksonville, the sixth largest school district in Florida, the state with the highest per capita infection rate in the US.

Low-income Canadians twice as likely to be hospitalized due to self-harm than the wealthiest

By Alexandra Greene, 27 August 2020

A recent study found that 25,000 Canadians were either hospitalized or died due to self-harm last year, the equivalent of about 70 self-harm incidents per day.

Australia: Official negligence led to mass health worker infections in Victoria

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 August 2020

Government claims that health staff had primarily contracted COVID-19 at home and in the community, as opposed to their places of employment, have been exposed as lies.

New York City preparing to lay off 400 EMS workers in advance of looming second wave of pandemic

By Ali Elhassan, 26 August 2020

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, is preparing to place the burden of the pandemic-triggered budgetary crisis on workers, including frontline health care workers.

US health care workers infected with COVID-19 pressured to return to work

By Alex Johnson, 25 August 2020

The failure of health care facilities and employers to provide adequate paid leave has left health care staff with the cruel “choice” of risking hunger and homelessness by forfeiting their paychecks or becoming transmitters of the coronavirus in their workplaces.

Australia: Sharp increase in COVID-19 among Victorian healthcare workers

By Margaret Rees, 21 August 2020

The Victorian Labor government is attempting to downplay the growing number of infected healthcare workers in Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city.

New excess death counts reveal more complete toll of coronavirus pandemic

By Bryan Dyne, 20 August 2020

As of mid-July, there were 178,500 excess deaths in just fifteen urban areas internationally, including New York City, Mexico City, Lima, Jakarta, Istanbul and Madrid.

Johnson government scraps Public Health England, accelerating break-up of National Health Service

By Robert Stevens, 20 August 2020

The main “crime” of PHE for the ruling elite was that it was part of a “bloated” NHS still not sufficiently responsive to the expertise and “flexibility” of the private sector.

COVID-19 overtakes accidents as third leading cause of death in the US as testing continues to decline

By Benjamin Mateus, 19 August 2020

Despite the deadly nature of the virus, which has already killed more than 175,000 in the US, testing capacity is declining as states move to resume in-school learning.

SAG-AFTRA’s Health Plan restructuring faces massive opposition

By Marc Wells, 19 August 2020

The restructuring of the US union’s health plan will reduce coverage for thousands of current and retired performers and media professionals, along with their families.

US health insurance companies reap billions as COVID-19 pandemic inflicts death and destitution

By Alex Johnson, 14 August 2020

The largest healthcare chains, including Anthem, Humana, and UnitedHealth Group, have reported second-quarter earnings at double the rate from the same period last year.

New outbreak of COVID-19 in New Zealand

By Tom Peters, 13 August 2020

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s government failed to undertake mass testing and left the country unprepared for a second outbreak of COVID-19.

Analysis shows 54,000 “excess deaths” in US, pointing to coronavirus death toll of 200,700

By Kate Randall, 12 August 2020

A new analysis shows that the number of deaths from the coronavirus has likely been undercounted by 37 percent.

“They are treating us all like pawns—we are the ones who suffer”

Health care workers rally across UK against unsafe conditions

By our reporters, 11 August 2020

Thousands of health workers took part in demonstrations and rallies across the UK demanding a pay rise and adequate protection from COVID-19.

“They spout in the news ‘thank you to health care heroes’ but what thanks do we get?”

US nurses’ poll shows appalling working conditions in the pandemic

By Julian James, 11 August 2020

The NNU study shows that only 24 percent of nurses think their employer is providing a safe workplace.

Why is the US doing less and less COVID-19 testing?

By Bryan Dyne, 11 August 2020

Without any serious explanation by the government, the number of tests being done every day in the United States has dropped significantly over the past two weeks.

US hits five million COVID-19 cases as testing declines and schools reopen

By Benjamin Mateus, 10 August 2020

The number of daily COVID-19 tests in the US has dropped significantly in recent weeks in line with the increasingly feverish drive to reopen the schools.

Unions’ big lie to Quebec health care workers battling the pandemic: “The government will protect you”

By Richard Dufour, 10 August 2020

With the unions unable and unwilling to defend them, health care workers must take matters into their own hands, to protect their own health and lives and those of the public.

US coronavirus death toll predicted to reach 295,000 by December

By Bryan Dyne, 8 August 2020

The IHME projection of nearly 300,000 deaths by December exposes the lie that it is safe to reopen the schools.

Columbia University pressures faculty into teaching in-person classes, triggering backlash

By Elliott Murtagh, 8 August 2020

Faculty and graduate instructors have denounced university demands they teach in-person classes during the planned fall campus reopening.

Health Commissioner forced out as New York City prepares to reopen schools amid national pandemic surge

By Josh Varlin, 7 August 2020

Dr. Oxiris Barbot’s ouster indicates a more open return to the herd immunity strategy that guided the city’s disastrous early response to the pandemic.

Dangerous conditions in Melbourne quarantine hotels helped cause Australia’s COVID-19 resurgence

By Martin Scott, 7 August 2020

Victoria’s state Labor Party government presided over the hiring of poorly-paid security guards with no infection control training.

Britain’s National Health Service workers demand pay rise amid COVID-19 crisis

By Rory Woods, 7 August 2020

Hundreds of health workers demonstrated in London last week and dozens of protests are scheduled in cities across the country this Saturday, organised by Facebook groups.

Theater on your personal device

The Line movingly conveys health care workers’ struggles during the pandemic

By Erik Schreiber, 7 August 2020

A powerful play based on interviews shows how New York City’s health care workers battled the pandemic as the health care system collapsed around them.

Stricter lockdown reimposed in Philippines as cases top 100,000

By Joseph Santolan, 4 August 2020

The Duterte administration has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with authoritarianism and anti-scientific nonsense.

Mass unemployment to worsen in Australia following Victorian lockdown

By Mike Head, 4 August 2020

Workers, especially those in casual and insecure employment, will bear the burden of the sweeping “state of disaster” COVID-19 restrictions announced by Victoria’s Labor government.

Amid COVID-19 “disaster,” Australian state government announces limited workplace closures

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 August 2020

The measures were only announced after the Victorian surge of infections had spiralled out of control, sparking fears of a collapse of the healthcare system.

New COVID-19 infections take hold in first week of attempted cruise industry restart

By Tom Casey, 4 August 2020

Among the first ship operators to resume sailings, Norwegian-owned Hurtigruten suspended operation of two ships this weekend after 36 passenger and five crew tested positive for coronavirus.

COVID-19 takes hold in Papua New Guinea

By John Braddock, 4 August 2020

A surge of new COVID-19 cases has been recorded in the past 14 days, threatening to overwhelm the impoverished country’s ill-equipped healthcare system.

One month of the coronavirus pandemic: 7.2 million infected, 165,000 dead

By Bryan Dyne, 4 August 2020

July was the worst month yet in terms of new cases of COVID-19, as the pandemic continued to tear through the global population.

Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center intensive care unit head physician dies of COVID-19

By Dominic Gustavo, 3 August 2020

Health care workers have been placed on the front lines of the pandemic as safety precautions such as social distancing have been lifted.

Six months since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global public health emergency

By Benjamin Mateus, 1 August 2020

Nearly 700,000 people have succumbed to the pandemic over the past six months.

The coronavirus pandemic and the growing mental health crisis

By Ben Oliver, 1 August 2020

Dealing with the insidious uncertainty of COVID-19's spread is more like living with a domestic abuser or being deployed to a war zone.

Doctors at Michigan’s Beaumont Health submit no-confidence petition on eve of merger

By Stephen Fuller, 1 August 2020

A group of doctors at Michigan’s Beaumont Health system are submitting a no-confidence petition on the eve of a possible merger with Chicago-Milwaukee-based Advocate Aurora Health system.

COVID-19 deaths mount at GM plant and maquiladoras across Mexico

By Andrea Lobo, 30 July 2020

The state-owned oil company reported that 234 family members of workers have also died from coronavirus, highlighting the horrific human cost of the rush to reopen the economy.

Auto parts worker dies at Michigan Faurecia plant of unexplained causes

By Tim Rivers, 30 July 2020

Management at the Saline, Michigan plant has not released the cause of death, but coronavirus is widely suspected.

India set to surpass two million COVID-19 cases within days

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 30 July 2020

While the government claims that it is mounting a “successful battle,” the virus is rampaging across the India, with half a million new infections in the past 12 days.

UK coronavirus infections and death rates increase as Johnson blames Europe

By Robert Stevens, 30 July 2020

The Tories’ aim is to divert attention from the resurgence of coronavirus infections in the UK due to their own criminal policies.

Record Australian COVID-19 deaths and infections

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 July 2020

Today’s toll of 723 infections and 13 deaths in Victoria demonstrates that the authorities have completely lost control of the state’s coronavirus surge.

Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine racket

By Bryan Dyne, 30 July 2020

Moderna’s exorbitant price point for its taxpayer subsidized vaccine exemplifies the corporate-financial elite’s exploitation of the coronavirus catastrophe for its selfish private gain.

Michigan Medicine laying off hundreds of workers despite ongoing pandemic

By George Kirby, 29 July 2020

The medical center owned by the University of Michigan is cutting the jobs of hundreds of nurses, emergency technicians and other hospital workers.

COVID-19 spreading widely in auto plants as Detroit automakers push for more production

By Shannon Jones, 23 July 2020

Reports continue of spreading COVID-19 infections at US auto plants as Detroit automakers are making clear that they will not permit even temporary shutdowns for cleaning and quarantining.

New coronavirus cases globally rocket past a quarter million

By Bryan Dyne, 23 July 2020

Multiple countries yesterday set new records in their daily death tolls, case counts or both.

California: 700 health care workers at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital on five-day strike

By Brian Dixon, 23 July 2020

Workers are protesting understaffing at the hospital, inadequate access to personal protective equipment, and management’s proposal to slash their benefits.

Widespread opposition as union sells out Joliet, Illinois nurses strike

By Alex Johnson, 23 July 2020

The Illinois Nurses Association isolated the courageous two-week strike and then pushed through a deal that does nothing to address dangerously high patient-to-nurse ratios.

Record daily coronavirus infections in Australia

By Patrick O’Connor, 23 July 2020

The pandemic has been exacerbated by the casualisation of the workforce that was engineered over the last four decades by successive Labor and Liberal governments.

Ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases across Pacific Island states

By John Braddock, 23 July 2020

The global health and economic crisis is having a catastrophic impact on the fragile and impoverished former colonies across the Pacific.

Health and safety of medical workers jeopardized by world leaders’ negligent response to the pandemic

By Benjamin Mateus, 21 July 2020

Health care workers have faced the brunt of the pandemic, with tens of thousands who have contracted the coronavirus and thousands who have died caring for those infected with COVID-19.

Australia: Hundreds of health workers in Victoria contract COVID-19

By Clare Bruderlin, 18 July 2020

A national survey of 500 healthcare workers found that half were experiencing PPE shortages and some were having to source their own supplies.

Millions of Americans are losing health insurance as joblessness skyrockets

By Alex Johnson, 17 July 2020

The pandemic has left approximately 5.4 million American workers uninsured between February and May, according to an analysis by the Families USA consumer advocacy group.

Two-week strike by Joliet, Illinois nurses in danger

By Benjamin Mateus and Jerry White, 17 July 2020

The nurses have taken a defiant stand not just for themselves but for all health care workers, but the unions are isolating their strike.

US drug overdose deaths soared to record highs in 2019

By Genevieve Leigh, 17 July 2020

Preliminary data shows that nearly 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year, a staggering increase of 5 percent from 2018, and that the toll will be even higher this year.

Nearly 70,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in US prisons

By Sam Dalton, 16 July 2020

As the virus’s spread in prisons continues unabated, a new study shows the COVID-19 death rate for US inmates is triple the population at large.

Australian governments reject lockdowns, as Victoria hits highest daily infection toll

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 July 2020

Infections are spiralling out of control, because governments are refusing to implement measures that would impinge on the profits of the corporate elite.

Houston hospitals overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients as Texas continues to reopen

By Chase Lawrence, 14 July 2020

Coronavirus skyrockets in Texas’ largest city as reopening continues.

Joliet, Illinois nurses reject sellout contract, continue strike

By Benjamin Mateus, 13 July 2020

The nurses voted 393 to 154 to defeat the contract proposed by the Illinois Nurses Association, which did nothing to reduce the dangerously high patient-to-nurse ratios.

French trade unions agree to attacks on healthcare system amid coronavirus pandemic

By Will Morrow, 13 July 2020

As far as the capitalist class is concerned, if more workers die, particularly elderly workers no longer able to produce profits for employers, this can be a positive good.

North American autoworkers expand fight against unsafe conditions amid COVID-19 nightmare

By Shannon Jones, 11 July 2020

Fiat Chrysler Toledo Assembly workers in Ohio have decided to launch a rank-and-file safety committee, after similar committees were set up last month at two FCA plants in the Detroit area.

Pandemic surges in the Americas as the global death toll nears 560,000

By Kate Randall, 11 July 2020

The United States is leading the global toll of new COVID-19 cases and deaths, with nearly 3.2 million cases and 134,092 deaths as of Friday evening, about a quarter of the global total.

Striking Joliet, Illinois nurses should reject sellout deal

By Benjamin Mateus, 11 July 2020

AMITA Health St. Joseph Medical Center nurses in Joliet should reject the Illinois Nurses Association's deal, which does nothing to address chronic understaffing.

COVID-19 disrupts reopening of US professional sports

By Alan Gilman, 11 July 2020

Professional baseball, basketball, football and soccer are all attempting to resume play without live audiences, but dozens of athletes have fallen victim to coronavirus.

Lenox Hill: Portrait of New York City hospital obscures more than it shows

By Clara Weiss, 11 July 2020

Netflix is currently streaming the mini-series documentary Lenox Hill, which focuses on four doctors at the hospital of the same name in New York’s Manhattan.

“This is going to kill us—not coronavirus, but how broken the health care system is”

An Illinois nurse speaks out against corporate control of health care systems

By Jessica Goldstein, 10 July 2020

The nurse spoke to the WSWS after being furloughed for speaking out against a hospital’s corporate policies that discriminated against low-income patients during the pandemic.

Striking nurses in Joliet, Illinois denounce unsafe conditions at AMITA hospital

By Benjamin Mateus, 8 July 2020

Striking nurses spoke to WSWS reporters about their demands for adequate staffing and safe working conditions.

New York City EMS worker commits suicide

By Ali Elhassan, 8 July 2020

The warnings by mental health experts about the traumatic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on health care workers are now being tragically borne out.

The COVID-19 vaccine and the drive for profit

By Frank Gaglioti, 8 July 2020

As the pandemic rages across the planet, the struggle to develop a vaccine has become an urgent task. But the vaccines will be weaponized for geopolitical purposes, not to provide the treatments equitably on a global scale.

Over 700 Joliet, Illinois nurses go on strike for better wages and safe working conditions

By Benjamin Mateus and Kate Randall, 6 July 2020

Strikes of health care workers are part of a growing global response of workers across industries to the dangers posed by government back-to-work drives.

Zimbabwe nurses strike as economic crisis brings threat of second coup and military dictatorship

By Stephan McCoy, 4 July 2020

Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is preparing to confront mounting opposition in the working class through dictatorial forms of rule and the abrogation of democratic rights—even as it is threatened by the possibility of a coup.