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Workers went on an anticipated strike last week over ongoing dissatisfaction related to insufficient staffing and long wait times for patients in the emergency department (ED) at Ascension St. John Hospital in Detroit. On April 18, union physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners walked out after their good-faith negotiations failed to result in an agreement, according to local news reports. The clinicians had formed the union less than a year ago to advocate for improved staffing in the ED to ensure patient safety and quality care. On a website they created to promote awareness of the issue, the clinicians stated: “We will no longer accept 10-15 hour wait times and 50 people sitting in the emergency room waiting area.”

Parse out the numbers: The striking workers are employed through a contract with TeamHealth and are not directly employed by Ascension St. John Hospital. TeamHealth is a portfolio company of Blackstone Group and has had a contract with the hospital since 2015, according to the union website. TeamHealth reportedly told the news outlet that the ED’s wait time had decreased from 25 minutes in 2023 to 15 minutes in 2024. The company employs more than 15,000 affiliated healthcare professionals and advanced practice clinicians who work at 2,700 facilities.

Union Clinicians Strike Over Staffing Issues at Detroit ED
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