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NJ union calls for state monitor over Meadowlands Hospital

The Record, August 8, 2011

A state monitor should oversee operations at Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center because its new owners are violating conditions of their license and jeopardizing patient care, union leaders and a public-interest law group say. Their written complaints to the state Department of Health say that the Secaucus hospital—which became a for-profit facility late last year—laid off between 15% and 20% of the pre-sale union staff and created an environment that is unsafe for patients and hostile for workers. One in four patients is from Bergen County. "Our request is based on [the union's] and the department's documentation of deteriorating work conditions at MHMC and [license] violations that directly threaten patient and worker safety and pose serious risks to the affected communities' access to safe, affordable and quality health care services," wrote Renee Steinhagen, executive director of New Jersey Appleseed, an advocacy group. "Blatantly false," countered a spokesman for MHA, the private investment group that reopened the 230-bed hospital in December under the same name.

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