BAR HARBOR, Maine — Registered nurses at Mount Desert Island Hospital are planning to hold a candlelight vigil Wednesday evening to protest what they say are declining resources at hospitals throughout Maine.
The vigil is 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, May 7 at the Village Green in downtown Bar Harbor, according to a prepared statement released Tuesday.
The Maine State Nurses Association/National Nurses United, a labor union that is representing the nurses in contract talks with MDI Hospital, indicated in the release that cuts are affecting patient safety and services at hospitals in Bar Harbor and throughout the state.
“The recent failure to expand Medicaid and pass health care as a human right legislation in Maine, has resulted in far fewer resources for patients in our state’s hospitals,” Terrylyn Bradbury, a registered nurse who works in the emergency department at Millinocket Regional Hospital, said in the release. “The reductions in services to communities and layoffs of hospital staff are leaving 70,000 residents uninsured.”
The union indicated in the release that hospital administrators spend too much on excessive executive salaries, redundant technology and unnecessary management contracts instead of patient care.
Pam Borque, a registered nurse at MDI Hospital, said in the release that nurses want hospital administrators to listen to their concerns about patient care, especially when it comes to technology and equipment that nurses use.
“We know best what is most effective for the care of our patients,” Borque said.
Chrissi Harding, chief financial officer of the Bar Harbor hospital, declined on Tuesday to comment about negotiations with the nurses.
“MDI Hospital agrees that expansion of the Medicaid program is crucial to the ongoing efforts of hospitals in Maine to provide access to care to those in need,” Harding said in an emailed statement. “It is always the goal of our organization to deliver the highest quality of patient care with the utmost attention to patient safety to all in our community.”
MDI Hospital has been nationally recognized for the delivery of the top level of patient safety and patient satisfaction, Harding added. She said the hospital accomplished this by “being dedicated to implement the technology necessary to achieve our high standard of care.”
Officials with Maine Hospital Association declined Tuesday to comment on the nurses’ statement.