A doctor in Bellingham, Washington was reportedly fired from his post after speaking against his hospital’s lack of safety measures in its COVID-19 response.
Dr. Ming Lin, a 17-year hospital veteran, had earlier made an appeal online for the hospital to secure safety equipment for its staff. Washington is among the states that have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 outbreak.
In his posts, Lin alleged that PeaceHealth St. Joseph did not screen all patients outside the hospital. Potential COVID-19 patients were brought into the emergency room waiting area, which he noted to be crowded all the time.
In a video uploaded by Northwest Grip on YouTube, Lin said nurses who handled potential COVID-19 patients that exhibited symptoms such as cough or fever were not provided masks.
“I’m not sure what St. Joe’s motive is. I’m not going to comment whether this is some financial issue or whatever it is,” Lin said in the clip. “I think when a hospital to me is not just responsible for the patients there, but it needs to stand out in the community as a leader to protect the unwanted, to protect the homeless, to protect the elderly.”
He later revealed in a Facebook post on Friday that he lost his job as an emergency room doctor at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center.
In an interview with Seattle Times, Lin shared that he received a message telling him not to come to work as he was preparing for work Friday. He was told that his shift was already covered.
Lin was only informed that he has actually been ”terminated” after he called his supervisor to check what was going on.
“I’ll be OK,” he was quoted as saying. “It’s a blow to my ego more than anything.”
According to Lin, he was also told that he would later be contacted by TeamHealth’s human resources department. TeamHealth is the national firm that contracts with PeaceHealth’s emergency department.
While a representative from PeaceHealth St. Joseph did confirm to The Seattle Times that Lin had indeed been terminated, no additional information or comment was provided.
Meanwhile, TeamHealth claimed that Lin was actually not terminated, stating that they are “committed to engaging with him to try to find a path forward.”
“Now more than ever, we need every available doctor, and we will work with Dr. Lin to find the right location for him,” the spokesperson told The Hill.
Before his alleged termination, Lin had been actively posting about the situation in PeaceHealth, criticizing its management for its failure to protect the hospital staff.
Lin noted that his supervisors previously threatened to fire him after he spoke with reporters about his social media rants. He was also told to take down his social media posts but refused.
Feature Image by Northwest Grip