Hundreds of Asian Health Services members picket in Oakland’s Chinatown
They demand a fully staffed clinic and new contract
In an urgent rally on Monday, July 17, Asian Health Services healthcare workers joined together to confront a dangerous staffing crisis that is compromising critical health services and putting vulnerable patients at risk. Short staffing has led to excessively long wait times and declining levels of care for patients, impacting vital programs such as dental, membership, and referrals. Patients are facing waitlists of up to six months, with some waitlists containing up to 500 people, and they have reported waiting up to a week just for a referral.
The situation has prompted many employees to leave in search of better opportunities, while those remaining are struggling to cope with increasing workloads and insufficient support. “More and more of us are planning to find another job. If the situation can’t be improved, more and more patients are not able to be taken care of by Asian Health Services. We need to staff up now!” said Tom Rui, a Health Coach, at Asian Health Services.
At the rally, workers demanded immediate action from management to address these challenges. They advocated for better working conditions and adequate staffing to ensure that patients receive the quality care they deserve.
The rally highlighted the crucial role of Asian Health Services in serving vulnerable members of the Asian community, immigrants, refugees, low-income individuals, and other underserved residents of Alameda County. AHS workers, AHS Doctor Star Wang, SEIU 1021 Regional VP Yeon Park and Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley all spoke at the rally in support of staffing up Asian Health Services.
As Asian Health Services healthcare workers continue to fight for better services and support, they hope to provide the best care possible for their patients and create a safer and more sustainable work environment for themselves and their coworkers.