My radio story on Florida nurses unionizing aired on FPR stations today. You can listen to it on HealthyState.org or on my website under the Journalism -> Radio link.
None of the hospitals I contacted called me back. It would have been nice to speak with a hospital administrator on tape in order to balance my piece a bit more. I had tried multiple times to get a hold of Central Florida Regional Hospital, the Hospital Corporation of America and even Florida Hospital here in Orlando. No luck.
Central Florida Regional Hospital sent me an emailed statement, after five days of emails and voice mails from me. I only quoted a sentence of it in my radio piece, but here is the whole version from the hospital's public relations officer :
"Hello Euna --
The nurses, technical, service and maintenance and skilled maintenance employees at Central Florida Regional Hospital voted for union representation. We will continue to provide the same high quality care for which we are known. The hospital has agreements with SEIU and CNA/NNOC to allow employees to decide for themselves if they want union representation, by following an agreed-upon procedure that enables them to make this decision by secret ballot. While we do not believe having a union is in the best interest of our hospital, we respect our employees' rights to make this decision."
I immediately sent another email to the hospital and asked for an in-person interview with the CEO. A day later, the PRO wrote back :
"Central Florida Regional Hospital has no further comment."
What do you think? How will the recent nurse unions affect hospitals and health care costs? Do you agree with the analysis presented by the UCF researcher in the radio piece?