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Kaiser Permanente Pharmacies Would Temporarily Close, Elective Surgeries Rescheduled If Nearly 32,000 Nurses, Healthcare Workers Go On Strike

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Kaiser Permanente is warning its members that there may be a disruption to services if its employees go on strike Monday.

The strike is expected to impact 366 Kaiser facilities in Southern California. Kaiser says if the strike does take place, its pharmacies would be temporarily closed and some appointments might have to be changed to virtual care, including phone or video visits.

"While we intend to keep hospitals, emergency departments, and urgent care departments open throughout the duration of any union activity, we are actively coordinating with community hospitals and other needed clinical providers to help with patient needs," Kaiser said in a message to its members.

Kaiser's doctors are not participating in the strike, and Kaiser says its hospitals, emergency departments, and urgent care departments will remain open during a strike. However, Kaiser says it is working with community hospitals and other clinical providers to help with patient needs.

Some appointments, elective surgeries, and procedures – including non-urgent appointments – have already been canceled or rescheduled. Members will be contacted in advance if their appointments must be changed, and those who need to refill a prescription should do so through Kaiser's mail order delivery service.

More than 96% of Kaiser Permanente's nurses and healthcare workers, who are members of the United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Professionals, voted to authorize a strike last month. A strike notice delivered earlier this month said nearly 32,000 Kaiser workers would be on strike, which would make it the nation's largest labor action in 2021.

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