Ventura County Clinics Crisis Petition

Add Your Name to the Ventura County Clinics Crisis Petition

Ventura County’s take-over of the Ventura County Ambulatory Care clinic system has resulted in a dramatic decline in patient access to care and quality of care due to significant staff reductions and lack of supplies and equipment. When the County took over the clinic system in June, many physicians resigned. The County has refused to retain or hire enough physicians, nurses and support staff. The remaining doctors, nurses, and support staff are struggling, often unable to provide minimum levels of care required by state law and medical practice standards. See examples below.

We the undersigned demand that Ventura County take immediate action to:

  • Work with employees and their unions to staff clinics with physicians, nurses and support staff needed to meet patient care standards.
  • Hire the experienced workers that were not retained in the takeover to fill the vacancies and resolve understaffing.
  • Ensure that patients have access to quality care.
  • Reduce workload and additional responsibilities.
  • Ensure adequate supplies and equipment.
  • Practice COVID safety for patients and employees.
  • Cease management favors & jobs for family members

Examples of current problems:

  • Conejo Valley: Lost 3 medical assistants, 1 of 2 phlebotomists, the only X-Ray technician. Has no COVID-19 screeners. Short on supplies for PAP smears and suturing.
  • Pediatric Diagnostic Center: Lost 1 RN, and 2 physicians, leaving 3 physicians to do the work of 5, with only 1.5 RNs to help them.
  • West Ventura: Lacks liquid nitrogen and is referring away patients in need of cryotherapy for abnormal cervix cells.
  • Las Posas: Lost both OB medical assistants, the CPSP medical assistant, and will lose a mid-level provider. Internal medicine MD must see up to 25 patients per day. 15 minutes allowed for each visit is insufficient to provide proper care.
  • Santa Paula: Is down one physician (0.7 FTE).
  • Santa Paula West: Pharmacy technician not rehired, forcing the work onto physicians, who are struggling.
  • Sierra Vista: Lost 2 physicians, leaving the remaining physicians with an unsustainable workload, forcing them to work extra, unpaid hours.
  • Las Islas North & South: Only 7 of 18 nurses are left. The added loss of medical assistants has led to long wait lines and angry patients. Appointments for lab tests and imaging are not available for weeks. Shortages of medical supplies. Loss of social workers is forcing physicians to address insurance, transportation, and case management needs. Front office got cut from 6 to 3 staff, taking nurses and MAs away from patient care. Patients can’t get through on the phone; sometimes there is no phone operator. COVID screeners were removed, and the clinic experienced a COVID-19 outbreak, with late notice provided to staff. Physicians are working through lunch and unpaid overtime.
  • Mandalay Bay: Lost 3 physicians. Patients are being double and triple booked for 20-minute appointments, forcing physicians to see up to 22 patients per day, compromising patient care and overwhelming exhausted staff.
  • Moorpark: Support staff cuts have referrals a month behind, with patients waiting two or more months for routine referrals. Lack of exam gloves.
  • Magnolia: Lost 5 MAs, 2 LVNs, 2 phlebotomists, 9 office staff, 1 pharmacist, 1 pharmacy tech, 3 physicians, 3 mid-level providers, 1 bookkeeper, and 1 IT staffer. Only one nurse is left to serve both urgent care and primary care clinics. Urgent care lacks N95 masks, gloves, and equipment, forcing employees to bring in their own. Suture kits are substandard. There are no COVID screeners; patients and staff are frequently exposed.
  • Nepotism: The County hired the husband of the Ambulatory Clinic System CEO to work as a physician under the CEO’s supervision.

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