May 4, 2020
Saint Anthony’s Hospital on Chicago’s West Side has so many Covid-19 patients that it has had to set up ventilators outside of its ICU. Saint Anthony’s, on Chicago’s West Side, serves a working class and poor population. Many people who live there are essential workers, continuously putting themselves at risk for low wages.
But as a “safety net” hospital, it comes under all the pressures of our capitalist society. For example, the hospital had to rely on an outside lab to take care of its tests—which means waiting on results. Wealthy Chicago hospitals like Rush had the money to set up their own testing facilities.
St. Anthony’s saw thirteen of its ICU nurses take higher wages to leave for the new field hospital in McCormick Center. So now St. Anthony’s sits on the front-line with a depleted nursing staff.
This is a crazy way to function—hospital services need to be organized at the level of the city at a minimum. But this society organizes everything to make profit—healthcare resources follow the money, to the detriment of the working class.