Healthcare

Worcester, Mass. nurses set March 8 strike date

By Ben Oliver, 3 March 2021

The 800 MNA nurses at St. Vincent Hospital have been negotiating for a new contract since November 2019. Nurses will strike the hospital at 6 a.m. on Monday, March 8 if an agreement is not reached.

Alberta Health Services disciplines hundreds of workers who joined wildcat strike

By Carl Bronski, 2 March 2021

Strikers explained how they were living paycheck to paycheck despite labouring under tremendous pressure due to chronic understaffing and the increased pressure of the pandemic.

With a halt in the decline of COVID-19 cases in the US, CDC director warns “the virus is not done with us”

By Benjamin Mateus, 28 February 2021

For more than a week, the seven-day moving average in new cases of COVID-19 has stalled. Health officials are sounding the alarm that states are moving too rapidly in lifting restrictions.

The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof demands immediate reopening of schools

By Evan Blake, 26 February 2021

The purpose of Kristof’s article is to pollute popular consciousness and pressure local Democrats tasked with enforcing the homicidal policy of reopening schools.

Canada’s indigenous population faces elevated infection rate, lack of health care as COVID-19 runs rampant

By Alexandra Greene, 26 February 2021

The COVID-19 infection rate among First Nations people living on-reserve is 40 percent higher than that of the Canadian population as a whole.

Elderly bear the brunt of Texas power outage catastrophe

By Tony Jackson, 26 February 2021

A disproportionate amount of preventable human suffering fell on the oldest, most isolated, and most dependent members of society.

Sri Lankan government mobilises army to break health workers’ strike

By Sakuna Jayawardena, 26 February 2021

None of the health service unions, nor any other trade union, has opposed or condemned the Rajapakse government’s deployment of the military.

The dominant variant of the coronavirus in California has acquired dangerous mutations

By Benjamin Mateus, 25 February 2021

A new variant of the coronavirus was discovered in California, dubbed CAL.20C. The mutation, L452R, appears to make the virus more contagious.

Calls mount for investigation of Governor Cuomo in New York nursing homes scandal

By Josh Varlin, 25 February 2021

The real scandal is not the Cuomo’s alleged “bullying,” but the massive death toll in nursing homes.

800,000 COVID-19 deaths in Europe: capitalism, social murder and the case for socialism

By Alex Lantier, 24 February 2021

The catastrophic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is not only a tragedy, but a comprehensive political and moral failure of the existing social order.

Massachusetts nurses vote to strike for safe staffing ratios

By Ben Oliver, 24 February 2021

Nurses at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts, without a contract since November 2019, on February 10 gave their overwhelming approval for strike action for safer working conditions and patient outcomes.

Global vaccination at the mercy of competing national interests

By Jean Shaoul, 24 February 2021

Control over vaccine distribution strengthens the major powers’ political and economic influence—their “soft power”—over allies and enemies alike

Media censors British Medical Journal description of pandemic deaths as “social murder”

By Robert Stevens, 23 February 2021

Finely attuned to the threat from below, Britain’s ruling elite understands the implications of any public discussion of the issue of social murder as it prepares to end the “last lockdown,” with the virus and its dangerous mutations allowed to rip through the population once again to deadly effect.

UK: Pandemic death toll among care home residents soars past 50,000

By Stephen Alexander, 23 February 2021

Researchers at the University of Manchester have found that COVID-19 deaths were “hugely underestimated” in the first wave.

Canada’s governments lift COVID-19 restrictions despite warnings of deadly third wave

By Frédéric Charlebois and Roger Jordan, 23 February 2021

Flying in the face of warnings from Canada’s chief medical officer and numerous other experts, Canada’s governments are accelerating the “reopening” of the economy even as more contagious variants of the virus take root.

Half a million dead in the US from coronavirus pandemic: Catastrophe, crime and historical turning point

By Joseph Kishore, 23 February 2021

The catastrophic loss of life in the US is the outcome of deliberate decisions made by the ruling class and its political representatives to prioritize profit over lives.

Sri Lanka health workers discuss need for action committees at public meeting

Our correspondents, 21 February 2021

Over 60 people, including doctors, nurses and other health staff, the participated in the Health Workers’ Action Committee at Peradeniya Teaching Hospital public meeting earlier this month.

The Lancet reveals impact of COVID-19 on health care workers

By Kevin Martinez, 20 February 2021

The British medical journal describes how frontline workers have had to face higher than average rates of burnout, anxiety, depression and isolation during the global pandemic.

Teachers and health workers strike amid back-to-school campaign in Brazil

By Eduardo Parati and Brunna Machado, 19 February 2021

Faced with enormous opposition from teachers, the Brazilian ruling class fears that the return to classes will provoke a nationwide wave of struggles beyond the control of the unions and pseudo-left parties.

Storm and blackouts endanger Texas health system

By Benjamin Mateus, 19 February 2021

Winter storm Uri has thrown Texas into a temporary dark age. Health systems are grappling with the loss of power, potable water, and burst water mains. People are crowding warming centers and emergency rooms.

Netanyahu lifts Israel’s third lockdown despite warnings of renewed surge in March

By Jean Shaoul, 18 February 2021

With each of the second and third surges seeing a higher death toll than the previous one, 5,441 Israelis have now died. Last Saturday, there were still 992 patients in hospital—after weeks of hovering around 1,200—of whom 388 were in critical condition

Biden falsely downplays dangers of COVID-19 in schools

By Evan Blake, 18 February 2021

At a CNN town hall event Wednesday, Biden made his most direct intervention into the campaign to reopen schools, falsely claiming that children and their families are not endangered by the reopenings.

BBC Hospital series explores crisis faced by UK’s National Health Service during COVID-19 pandemic

By Ben Trent, 17 February 2021

The series amounts to an indictment of the government’s policy during the pandemic and the impact of decades of cuts on the NHS—facts that will not be lost on Hospital ’s many viewers.

Oregon and other US states prioritize vaccinating educators in order to boost profits

By David Fitzgerald, 16 February 2021

Numerous US states plan to vaccinate teachers in the first phase of vaccinations as a means to reopen schools, regardless of the extent of community spread.

New York Governor Cuomo embroiled in political crisis over coverup of nursing home deaths

By Josh Varlin, 16 February 2021

The revelation that data on nursing home deaths was withheld from state legislators for months underscores the bipartisan nature of the ruling class response to the pandemic, which prioritizes profit over lives.

Johnson government plans UK National Health Service “overhaul” to streamline privatisation

By Thomas Scripps, 16 February 2021

The White Paper formalises the process of privatisation and outright cronyism that ran riot during the pandemic.

New Zealand towns’ drinking water contaminated with lead

By Tom Peters, 13 February 2021

Residents of Waikouaiti and Karitāne are demanding answers after dangerous levels of lead were detected in their drinking water.

Five public Los Angeles vaccination sites forced to close due to lack of doses

By Shawn Velia, 13 February 2021

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has announced that five vaccination sites must close for at least two days due to an inadequate supply of COVID-19 vaccine, leaving thousands in the lurch.

California nursing home workers strike as state surpasses New York for most COVID deaths

By Kevin Martinez and Norisa Diaz, 13 February 2021

The nursing home has seen 34 patients die from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

California study highlights dangers of COVID-19 pandemic to the working class

By Bryan Dyne, 13 February 2021

Essential workers, whom the research defined as those in the “food/agriculture, transportation/logistics, facilities, and manufacturing sectors,” experienced a 22 percent higher mortality rate than they did in the four years before the pandemic.

Why do US health care workers continue to refuse vaccination against COVID-19?

By Katy Kinner, 12 February 2021

Haunted by the inadequate, criminal, chaotic and disorganized response by the ruling class to the coronavirus pandemic, some health care workers turn away from a safe and efficacious vaccine.

Air pollution crisis in South Asia causing massive loss of pregnancies

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 12 February 2021

The ruling elites of South Asia have no interest in allocating the urgently necessary resources to implement air pollution abatement measures to save millions of lives, including the unborn.

“Our society is sick:” The Lancet condemns American capitalism

By Andre Damon, 11 February 2021

The Lancet, one of the world’s premiere medical journals, argues that the dead from COVID-19 in the US should be added to the toll of “missing Americans” whose deaths were attributable to the rise of social inequality over the past four decades.

Doctors predict global mental health crisis to persist post-pandemic

By Ben Oliver, 11 February 2021

A survey found that 86 percent of 3,334 doctors from 24 countries believe that the most significant non-virus-related public health issue when the pandemic subsides will be mental health and depression.

Doctors move on as the Heights Hospital in Houston, Texas remains shuttered indefinitely

By Chase Lawrence, 11 February 2021

The abrupt closure of the hospital was a violation of state law, which states that ceasing the care of a patient with less than a 30-day notice is illegal. In this case, there was no notice.

Europe passes three quarters of a million COVID-19 deaths

By Robert Stevens, 10 February 2021

The capitalist class is at war with society. The scale of death being witnessed in Europe and across the globe is unprecedented outside of wartime.

Los Angeles Hospital slated for closure amid pandemic

By Elizabeth Cabrera and Norisa Diaz, 10 February 2021

The impending closure of the Olympia Medical Center Hospital in Los Angeles County in the midst of a pandemic shows the irrationality of health care run for profit.

Peru in COVID-19 lockdown as new Brazilian variant exposes murderous “herd immunity” policy

By Miguel Andrade, 10 February 2021

The new lockdown in Peru follows a horrific resurgence of the pandemic in neighboring Brazil’s Amazon capital Manaus, which experts blame squarely on the “herd immunity” policy.

Czech Republic clinics collapse as pandemic rages

By Markus Salzmann, 8 February 2021

The coronavirus pandemic is assuming increasingly dramatic forms in the Czech Republic.

British Medical Journal calls pandemic response “social murder”

By Andre Damon, 7 February 2021

The editorial published in one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious medical periodicals is a devastating indictment of the policies of governments around the world in response to the pandemic.

Experts warn Hawaii on the brink of major COVID-19 outbreak and hospital overcrowding catastrophe

By Angelo Perera, 6 February 2021

With hospitalization rates rising, health officials have warned that zero percent ICU capacity could be reached in the next two weeks.

How Royal Bournemouth Hospital management put patient and staff safety in jeopardy: A frontline nurse explains

6 February 2021

Hospital management pretended that they could look after Covid and non-Covid patients along with other elective patients, without adequate staff and resources. This has failed miserably, with severe consequences.

999 Manaus and the danger of covid variants

4 February 2021

Major hospital in Chile goes up in flames amid near collapse of public health system

By Mauricio Saavedra, 3 February 2021

The fire that engulfed San Borja Hospital in Santiago, Chile bears the hallmarks of decades of under-resourcing the public health system by both right-wing and “left” governments.

999 Fire in Santiago hospital as Chile's health system collapses

2 February 2021

Royal Bournemouth Hospital blacklists World Socialist Web Site

By Rory Woods and Thomas Scripps, 2 February 2021

Instead of addressing the grievances highlighted in the frontline nurse’s letter, University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust management is desperately trying to shut down any discussion in the workforce about patient and staff safety.

Vaccination debacle in Germany exacerbates spread of new variants

By Marianne Arens, 2 February 2021

While politicians are demanding the reopening of schools and businesses, new variants of the virus are spreading widely throughout Germany.

Capitalism vs. socialism: The pandemic and the global class struggle

By David North, 31 January 2021

One year since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” the response of the ruling class to the pandemic has led to the deaths of more than 2.2 million people.

The right to breathe: COVID-19 and the scarcity of medicinal oxygen for the developing world

By Benjamin Mateus, 31 January 2021

Medicinal oxygen is essential for the treatment of severe and critical COVID-19 infections. Yet the developing world, seeing a surge in cases, faces a dire shortage of this life-saving treatment.

Far-right protesters temporarily shut down COVID-19 vaccinations at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles

By Shawn Velia, 31 January 2021

The Los Angeles Police Department allowed a few dozen right-wing anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown demonstrators to block traffic into Dodger Stadium, forcing a shutdown of the vaccination site for nearly an hour Saturday afternoon.

Shut down schools and businesses to stop the spread of new COVID-19 strains!

By Bryan Dyne, 30 January 2021

The more than 102 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus pandemic worldwide have provided ample opportunity for the virus to mutate and become even more dangerous.

A letter from a frontline nurse at Royal Bournemouth Hospital “We are in a perilous situation”

30 January 2021

“We saw this coming from the first wave of the pandemic and colleagues sounded the alarm by speaking out. But these warnings have fallen on deaf ears.”

Sri Lanka online public meeting: Build workers’ action committees to win health workers’ rights!

By Health Workers Action Committee of Peradeniya Teaching Hospital, 29 January 2021

All health workers are invited to participate in this vital online meeting on February 7 to discuss how to protect ourselves and other workers from the danger of COVID-19 infections and to defend our rights.

Clinic closures in Germany continue despite pandemic

By Markus Salzmann, 29 January 2021

The pandemic, which has now been raging for a year, urgently requires an expansion of health care, but 21 clinics across Germany were closed down last year.

COVID-19 infections among UK nursery workers deepens funding crisis

By Harvey Thompson, 29 January 2021

As the pandemic worsens, nurseries and early years settings nationwide are describing their workplaces as deadly environments, having to operate within a financial crisis.

As pandemic continues in China, lack of resources provokes social media protests

By Jerry Zhang, 28 January 2021

The government’s COVID-19 prevention and control system is facing tremendous pressure and fuelling popular discontent.

Opposition mounts to Spanish government’s refusal to implement coronavirus measures

By Alice Summers, 28 January 2021

The blame for the explosion of cases and deaths in Spain lies squarely on the shoulders of the Socialist Party (PSOE)-Podemos government, which has refused point-blank to take any serious measures to control the pandemic.

Australian governments lift safety restrictions despite COVID-19 dangers and vaccine doubts

By Martin Scott, 28 January 2021

The back-to-workplaces drive is being escalated, even though vaccine roll-outs have not begun.

An interview with Dr. Arthur Caplan, professor of bioethics at New York University, on the COVID-19 pandemic

By Benjamin Mateus, 27 January 2021

Dr. Arthur Caplan is the Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor of Bioethics at NYU’s Langone Medical Center and the founding director of the Division of Medical Ethics.

Nevada sees record number of COVID-19 deaths

By Hong Jian and Dan Conway, 26 January 2021

The policy of herd immunity is being deliberately cultivated in Nevada as casinos, logistics and other industries have continued to operate as normal with little to no protections in place to stop the spread of the virus.

Union pushes through contract to avert strike of Hawaii nurses

By Angelo Perera, 26 January 2021

Despite its lower infection rates than the US mainland, COVID-19 infection rates in Hawaii have been on the rise, with total infections increasing by 29 percent since the beginning of December.

999 Interview with Art Kaplan on the pandemic

26 January 2021

Houston, Texas hospital remains locked over financial dispute, putting hundreds of patients at risk

By Chase Lawrence, 25 January 2021

It is an absolute indictment of the for-profit healthcare system and the financial oligarchs that benefit from it that hospitals should be shut down in the middle of a pandemic, let alone when 83 million already lack sufficient access to primary healthcare, in the richest country in the world.

Johnson government warns UK COVID-19 strain more deadly as hospitals buckle under pressure

By Robert Stevens, 25 January 2021

The Johnson government has been able to oversee such death and destruction only because they are governing in a de facto coalition with the Labour Party and the trade unions.

Spain’s rich and powerful secretly monopolised COVID-19 vaccines

By Alejandro López and Alex Lantier, 23 January 2021

The ruling class orders workers and youth back to work and school, knowing thousands will get sick and die, knowing they can illegally obtain the vaccine for themselves.

Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness exposes stark global inequalities in COVID-19 response

By Benjamin Mateus, 22 January 2021

The second report from the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is a thorough indictment of the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Corporatization of Canada’s virtual health services part of broader privatization drive

By Penny Smith, 22 January 2021

Telecommunications giant Telus is exploiting desperate patients who lack timely access to healthcare services, the need for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and rising chronic illness to significantly expand its presence in the health care sector.

Chaotic vaccination rollout leaves New Yorkers vulnerable to COVID-19 surge

By Ali Elhassan, 22 January 2021

Governor Cuomo has committed himself to keeping businesses open despite the loss of life.

The science of the pandemic supports teachers’ concerns over the dangers of school reopening, Part two

By Benjamin Mateus, 21 January 2021

Science validates teachers’ concerns that in-person education during the pandemic is a dangerous proposition. This article reviews some of the more recent scientific findings.

Doctors locked out of hospital in Houston, Texas over rent dispute, forced to treat patients in parking lot

By Chase Lawrence, 21 January 2021

The sudden closure Monday of the Heights Hospital follows 21 hospital closures in 2020 across the United States, many of which were thrust into acute financial crisis by the COVID-19 pandemic.

999 WHO report on governments' disastrous response to the pandemic

21 January 2021

Record UK COVID-19 deaths as government plots ending “the last” lockdown

By Robert Stevens, 20 January 2021

This is being justified by citing a vaccination programme with only four million people having received the first dose of a required two doses. The population of the UK is over 66 million.

Hawaii nurses demand safe working conditions and PPE

By Evelyn Rios, 19 January 2021

The struggle of Hawaii nurses has reached a critical juncture. They should reject the attempts to sabotage their actions and begin organizing independently of the trade unions.

The global COVID vaccine distribution debacle is mirrored in the US

By Benjamin Mateus, 19 January 2021

The global vaccination distribution has been characterized as a “catastrophic moral failure” by the WHO’s director-general. Despite the US predominance in access to these life-saving vaccines, its national vaccine initiative has been a dismal disaster.

Spanish hospitals on brink of collapse as COVID-19 cases explode

By Alice Summers, 18 January 2021

As COVID-19 infections reach new highs, medical professionals in Spain warn that hospitals will soon be overwhelmed by admissions to intensive care units.

Three million in Los Angeles County have been infected with COVID-19 as workplace outbreaks reach all-time high

By Kevin Martinez, 16 January 2021

The virus is so widespread, according to the Los Angeles Times, that the infection rate has likely been slowed down by the large numbers of people who have already contracted it and developed a temporary immunity.

Tens of thousands of UK National Health Service workers fall ill with COVID-19

By Rory Woods, 16 January 2021

Nearly 50,000 health care workers have contracted the virus and thousands more are isolating or shielding.

Inside the COVID-19 outbreak at Lakepointe nursing home in Clinton Township, Michigan

By Zac Corrigan, 16 January 2021

At least three Lakepointe residents have died from COVID-19 since Christmas, and workers say that residents who catch COVID are no longer able to be removed from the home, which has resulted in a growing outbreak that they can’t contain.

Irish health system on brink of collapse as COVID-19 figures surge

By Dermot Quinn, 14 January 2021

Ireland's health services are being rapidly overwhelmed by escalating rates of coronavirus infection.

California health care worker explains how COVID-19 catastrophe has been fueled by the drive for profit

14 January 2021

The WSWS encourages health care workers to speak out on the disastrous conditions which are now overwhelming hospitals due the reopening and “herd immunity” policies pursued by the ruling class in countries around the world.

London Mayor declares “major incident” as UK capital devastated by COVID-19

By Thomas Scripps, 13 January 2021

The Office for National Statistics estimates that one in 30 people are infected with the virus in London, up to one in 20 in the worst-hit areas.

California hospitals ration oxygen as COVID-19 death toll surpasses 30,000

By Peter Ross, 13 January 2021

More than one in ten of the total number of COVID-19 deaths in California since the beginning of the pandemic took place in just the last week, at a rate of almost 500 per day.

Global COVID-19 death toll nears 2 million

By Benjamin Mateus, 13 January 2021

It has been one year since the first person died from complications caused by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19.

Before it begins, COVID-19 vaccination in Turkey already a fiasco

By Barış Demir, 13 January 2021

The Turkish government’s murderous ruling class “herd immunity” policy continues with a chaotic and incompetent roll-out of the vaccine.

German hospital group terminates nurse after criticism of situation in ICUs

By Markus Salzmann, 13 January 2021

As new infections reach record levels in Germany, the number of people requiring hospitalization for COVID-19 is growing.

Nurses speak on conditions in Arizona hospitals where COVID-cases reach national highs

By Katy Kinner, 12 January 2021

Arizona COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise to national highs as testing and vaccine administration continue to be inadequate.

Netanyahu government denies vaccine to Palestinians as it lauds mass rollout to Israelis

By Jean Shaoul, 11 January 2021

Israel’s COVID-19 vaccination program does not include the five million Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza, which Israel has illegally occupied since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Nearly 30,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 in the past 10 days

By Bryan Dyne, 11 January 2021

At the current rate, more than a quarter million people will die across the globe before the end of January, including more than 60,000 in the US alone.

Canada’s health care system overwhelmed by COVID-19 surge

By Frédéric Charlebois, 11 January 2021

“We’ve lost control of the epidemic,” exclaimed Dr. Antoine Delage, a pulmonologist at a hospital south of Montreal.

The United States sees more than 4,000 deaths in a single day from COVID-19

By Benjamin Mateus, 9 January 2021

The United States saw more than 4,000 deaths yesterday from COVID-19 infections. The vaccine rollout continues to be a fiasco, while new coronavirus variants are demonstrating more aggressive behaviors.

Record numbers of COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations across the US as pandemic surge continues

By Kevin Martinez, 8 January 2021

The situation in southern California remains especially dire, with Los Angeles County emerging as a global epicenter of the virus.

Ontario care worker denounces political establishment over disastrous conditions in care homes

8 January 2021

Five workers at Canada’s long-term–care facilities have died from COVID-19 within little more than a week.

New year begins with record COVID-19 deaths in Germany

By Martin Nowak, 7 January 2021

The beginning of the year in Germany was characterised by overcrowded crematoria, hospitals on the brink of collapse and mass death.

999 Interview with California nurse

7 January 2021

Five Canadian health care workers die within a week as COVID-19 infections rise sharply nationwide

By Carl Bronski, 7 January 2021

Canada’s health and senior’s care systems are buckling under a second wave of the pandemic for which the entire political establishment is responsible.

As the pandemic death toll mounts, governments delay administration of second vaccine dose

By Benjamin Mateus, 7 January 2021

With the death toll from COVID-19 projected to accelerate over the next several weeks, some governments are attempting to compensate for problems in the production and distribution of vaccines by delaying the second dose, despite a lack of data proving the efficacy of a prolonged dose regimen.

Los Angeles limits ambulance services as COVID-19 infections skyrocket in California and nationwide

By Bryan Dyne, 6 January 2021

The unfolding nightmare in the city of 4 million people is the direct result of the ongoing drive to reopen schools and non-essential businesses.

Quebec nurses need independent organizations of rank-and-file workers’ power, not another pro-capitalist trade union

By Laurent Lafrance and Richard Dufour, 6 January 2021

Outraged by their union’s latest sellout agreement, some nurses have voiced support for building a new, more “militant” union.

UK in third national lockdown as coronavirus surges out of control

By Robert Stevens, 5 January 2021

The lockdown is not as stringent as that imposed last March, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisting that people should go to work if they cannot work at home to keep profits rolling in for the major corporations.

Mounting mental health crisis among US health care workers

By Alex Johnson, 5 January 2021

With coronavirus infections and deaths rising to astronomical heights, frontline health care workers are experiencing acute mental and emotional distress.