Local nurses rally behind Moore’s SiCKO

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-118417410214018.jpg’, ‘Poster courtesy of www.firstshowing.net‘, ‘Michael Moore’s new film, Sicko, which opened across the country June 29, explores the American health care system and how bad it really is.‘);

Michael Moore’s film SiCKO hit theaters nationwide June 29. Moore’s latest effort focuses on deficiencies in the American health care system.

As part of a nationwide drive by California Nurses Association and National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC), 16,000 nurses are participating in the “Scrubs for SiCKO” campaign in nearly 100 cities. The nurses are pushing for a single-payer health system guaranteeing universal and comprehensive health care for all.

Legislation before the United States Congress and the Illinois House would establish such a system.

Locally, dozens of scrub-donning nurses distributed literature outside Colonial Village Kerasotes Theaters July 6 during and after screenings of SiCKO

“It really makes our American health care system really look sad, which it is,” said Pam DeJong, who’s been a registered nurse for 16 years.

DeJong has been working closely with other NNOC nurses in the area to push the need for an overhaul of the country’s health care system.

“People go into the hospital when they’re sick to be cared for, and it doesn’t always have the best of outcomes,” DeJong explained. “Not because it’s the nurses’ fault, but because we don’t have the staff.

“We’re trying to get back to being patient advocates,” DeJong added. “That’s what we were taught in school. The most important person there is the patient.”

DeJong explained paramedics are often refused by patients because their insurance policy doesn’t cover an ambulance ride.

“These are people that have worked their entire lives to be able to retire and live comfortably,” DeJong argued. “They end up claiming bankruptcy and lose everything they ever worked for. Now what kind of a system is that?”

It is DeJong’s hope nurses throughout the country will unite as one voice for positive change in the country’s health care system.

from the July 11-17, 2007, issue

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