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Protestors picket Kaiser
Keep Manteca Safe Committee member Margaret Pigg wears a money vest made by Kaiser registered nurse Ruth Somera to protest what she contends is Kaiser choosing profits over patients. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Nurses and senior citizens that have banned together as the Keep Manteca Safe Committee picketed Kaiser Manteca Permanente Wednesday.

“I moved to Manteca because Kaiser was local,” said Linda Le Cara. “I only had to drive 5 miles and now I have to drive 20 miles for total medical care.”

Le Cara was referring to services the committee said Kaiser moved from Manteca to Modesto.

The committee says that has forced seniors to travel farther for medical needs causing delays in care — cardiology, gastroenterology, and orthopedics specifically. The group also is critical of Kaiser’s decision to close an entire floor previously available to patients and blocking the admission of patients to the sub-acute care unit.

Amy Glass said representatives of the committee attempted to meet with Kaiser Leadership in regards to the closures that started over a year ago.

“We apologize if there was any misunderstanding about a meeting being scheduled (Wednesday),” said Edwin M. Garcia, Kaiser regional media relations specialist.” We want to reassure our members of Kaiser Permanente’s continued commitment to providing high-quality care and service in Manteca and its surrounding communities. In the Central Valley, we are fortunate to be able to offer our members an extensive range of high-quality care, including complex specialty care, through the combined services of our Manteca and Modesto medical centers. We offer daily shuttle service between the medical centers from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., every day, at no cost to members.”

A number of senior citizens that are Kaiser members in Manteca want to see services returned to the West Yosemite Avenue hospital.

“Kaiser advertises that services are less than one roof. Manteca to Modesto must be a very large roof,” said committee member Richard Paul.