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Hiltzik: Major hospitals say they are fed up with Catholic health regulations



Hiltzik: Major hospitals say they are fed up with Catholic health regulations

There may not be much reason for optimism in American health care now, but one hope arises in Orange County, California, where a prestigious hospital says it’s fed up with the Catholic Church’s restrictions on health care.

The Hoag Memorial Hospital in Newport Beach, which was established as a Presbyterian institution in 1952, demanded to break away from its partnership with the Catholic hospital system in 2012.

The agreement was controversial from the start, partly because Catholic partners imposed a ban on abortion on doctor Hoag even though they had been promised that the agreement would not have an impact on their practice.

Usually, in a hospital merger there are two sides to the negotiating table. When one of the partners is the Catholic system, there is a third party outside that has long-term influence – bishops.

Lois Uttley, MergerWatch

Now Hoag’s management has awakened, if it is too late, the effect on the patient.

“It is increasingly clear that Presbyterian beliefs, values ​​and policies have been compromised because of restrictions in the larger Catholic system, and that these constraints impose on the correct implementation of Presbyterian beliefs, values ​​and policies,” Hoag said in lawsuit aimed at dissolving the partnership with Providence Joseph Health, which manages 51 hospitals and hundreds of other medical facilities in seven western states.

The more stringent regulations enforced by Catholic bishops in affiliated hospitals, the lawsuit added, “signifies the possibility, if not the possibility, of growing gaps on key issues that also affect the delivery of care” by Hoag.

The lawsuit was filed May 4 in the Orange County High Court, after it became clear that Providence would reject the hospital’s efforts to dissolve the partnership. Providence stressed that Hoag’s actions would “negatively impact patient care, reducing the resources and medical expertise available to Orange County.”

This case could mark the end of a dirty chapter on California health care, and a beacon for those who care about the encroachment of the spread of discriminatory Catholic doctrine into American health care practices.

Hoag’s entry into the Catholic health care system was born in an atmosphere of deception.

In August 2012, Hoag and then St. Joseph Health System, a Roman Catholic chain with five hospitals in Orange County, announced a corporate partnership in which the two entities would “maintain each other’s identities and affiliation trusts – each Presbyterian and Catholic. “

At that time, Hoag’s medical staff repeatedly and explicitly assured that nothing in their practice would change because of the partnership. Conversely, only a few weeks after the agreement was made final in early 2013, abortion was banned in Hoag.

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Hoag Chief Executive Robert T. Braithwaite and later Chair Gary McKitterick made the situation worse by implying that they ended abortion in the hospital because Hoag doctors did not do enough to maintain “clinical excellence” in the procedure, and therefore patients had better have them done in another place.

The Hoag OB / GYN staff rightly regard it as an insult. Eight Hoag OB / GYNs wrote an open letter in response informing Braithwaite and McKitterick that they did not know what they were talking about. “We are experts in providing a complete array of reproductive family planning services’ which they consider lacking in Hoag,” they wrote.

The truth, as I reported at the time, was that St. Joseph had made an abortion banning the terms of the partnership agreement.

According to Richard Afable, who had negotiated the agreement as Hoag who was then the CEO and was the CEO of the partnership and executive of St. After its completion, Hoag’s adherence to the prohibition of St. Joseph to have an abortion is “sacred … demanded of ourselves and whoever we are [St. Joseph] will work with. “

“They really did,” recalled Jeffrey Illeck, an OB / GYN in Orange County who signed an open letter.

Many in the local community also objected, partly because of Hoag’s history as an independent local institution. “If you live in this area, you go to Hoag,” said Lynne Riddle, a retired federal bankruptcy judge and resident of Newport Beach who was among critics of the deal.

The ban on abortion in Hoag underscores the reluctance of Catholic hospitals to compromise religious rules. This is set in Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care, issued by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which prohibits abortion, the distribution of contraceptives and sterilization procedures such as tubal ligation in Catholic hospitals.

Non-Catholic affiliations are generally subject to the “Statement of Shared Values” which also prohibits abortion. Both gave authority to the local bishop for medical treatment at the facility. Both also limit the final choice of life for patients.

The inherently discriminatory nature of the directives helped sink the proposed affiliation between UC San Francisco and Dignity Health, the main Catholic chain, last year, and has been an obstacle in several other arrangements.

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But it is not unusual, even though it has never happened before, for church rules to create divisions between existing partners, as happened in Hoag.

In 2010, a nonsectarian hospital in Tucson dissolve the two-year trial merger with the Catholic system a year early, after The administrator has refused doctor’s permission to make emergency stops for patients who have miscarriages. The woman must be taken to hospital 80 miles away. (He survived.)

Catholic practices have given a greater shadow to US health services as the Catholic hospital system developed. In 2016, according to the non-profit MergerWatch, 4 of the 10 largest hospital chains in the US were Catholic, accounting for 1 out of every 6 hospital beds for acute care.

Providence St. Joseph is the fourth largest Catholic system and the seventh largest hospital chain overall, according to Lois Uttley, formerly director of MergerWatch and currently director of the Women’s Health Project at Community Catalyst, a health advocacy group.

“Usually, in a hospital merger there are two sides to the negotiating table,” Uttley told me. “When one of the partners is a Catholic system, there is a third party outside that has long-term influence – bishops.”

California approves Hoag-St. Joseph’s partnership in 2013 marked a low point in the tenure of the era’s attorney general, Kamala Harris, basically waving a deal with insufficient guarantees of Hoag’s independence.

Harris requires that Hoag maintain all existing women’s health services for at least 10 years – except for “direct abortion” (a term derived from Catholic doctrine that has no medical significance).

This can end as long as the “alternative provider” can be accessed somewhere within the Hoag service area, which stretches 50 miles along the coast from Long Beach to Dana Point and inland as far as Anaheim.

In March 2014, about a year after its initial agreement, Harris revised the agreement, extend the maintenance period to 20 years and state explicitly that Hoag will not be subject to ethical and religious direction. The new agreement ended his investigation into Hoag’s alleged non-compliance. St. Joseph joined Providence Health that was far greater in 2016.

In its official response to the Hoag suit, Providence stated, “Our relationship has been strong since 2012.”

But it’s hard to imagine how anyone could write or distribute that sentence with a straight face.

The Hoag suit and the June 2019 resolution adopted by the Hoag council outline the chapters and dissatisfaction verses that grew in hospitals with affiliates starting as early as 2015.

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“The benefits that Hoag agreed to give some degree of autonomy … were never achieved,” the lawsuit said. “The note, further, details significant frustration with the lack of progress” towards Hoag’s goal to strengthen its services to local residents.

The lawsuit said “repeated investigations from Hoag Council members related to failure to achieve meaningful goals.” It became clear to the Hoag council that Providence’s aim was to maintain the hospital in its system as a “prisoner affiliation.”

Rather than being a member of a partnership dedicated to local community health services, Hoag found himself reduced to another entity in a large regional system.

Last June the council, in consultation with heirs George Hoag – a former J.C investor. Penney and the executive whose family foundation helped launch the hospital – vote unanimously to free the hospital from Providence and become just a “voluntary partner” of the big system.

What will happen next in Hoag is still unclear. Providence said it would challenge Hoag’s right to leave the partnership. “As a legal matter, affiliates are permanent,” Erik G. Wexler, CEO of the Southern California Providence unit, told me via email, “and Hoag has no unilateral right to disaffiliate without the consent of the other party.”

The case shows that “it is difficult for hospitals to break away from agreements that look very sweet at first,” said Amy Chen, a senior lawyer for the National Health Law Program.

In addition, rebuilding services may be more difficult than destroying them. Hoag management has not yet mapped the road map of services or approaches that will change after independence again.

“We have not been told that we will be able to have another abortion,” Illeck said, “but I consider that part of what we can do again.” The change will also dispel long-standing uncertainty about how Catholic influence in Hoag can develop.

“One of our fears when all this is happening is, you are taking our abortion right now, but what will happen in five or 10 years? Now, that doesn’t matter. “

If Hoag succeeds, it will be a blow to health care that is not burdened by religious or ideological constraints.

“It’s very important,” said Riddle, “that everyone really feels how important it is to have a medical system that respects who you are and what your needs are and with your doctor who decides what treatment is best for you.”

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Prize for the Portuguese. Andre Silva is Champions League Player of the Week



Prize for the Portuguese.  Andre Silva is Champions League Player of the Week

BUTndre Silva won the competition and became the best player of the week in the Champions League, informed UEFAthis Thursday.

The former Porto striker scored in Jota’s 3-1 victory over Celtic Leipzig, scoring a brace in a match that was signed after his Portuguese compatriot equalized.

In addition, Andre Silva also provided the assist for Nkunku, scoring the first goal of this Wednesday’s game in which huge show of foreign fans.

In addition to the Leipzig striker, Di Maria (Juventus), Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund) and Di Lorenzo (Napoli) also fought in the fight for the prize, but it was the Portuguese who managed to smile after voting for the third round of the competition, the famous This Thursday is the fair.

Read also: Diogo Costa and Andre Silva named to Champions League Team of the Week

See also: Andre Silva among the nominees for the title of the best player of the week in the Champions League

See also: double dose. Andre Silva returned to celebrate and sentenced doubts

See also: Andre Silva took advantage of Hart’s colossal mistake and responded to Jota’s goal

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Eternal Portuguese deja vu – Renaissance



Eternal Portuguese deja vu - Renaissance

At the end of the summer of 1972, exactly half a century ago, SEDES – Associação para o Desenvolvimento Económico e Social (the most famous reformist think tank during Marseilles) issued a document for the country entitled “Portugal: The country we are, the country we want to be “. The Marseille spring had already turned into autumn: Américo Thomas had just been re-elected, the colonial war had dragged on, repression had intensified, and an economic crisis was already brewing. Seeing the general frustration, and at the same time willing to go against it, the signatories of CEDES began by asking “Where will we be and how will we be in 1980?” to criticize the obstacles that overshadowed Portugal in the early 1970s.

Among the “problems that are getting worse without a solution”, emigration stood out, indicating the country’s inability to offer better living and working conditions to those who left; the growing inflationary process, reflected in the cost of living; the inevitability of economic integration in Europe when the country is not ready for international commercial competition; “disaggregation of regional economies” with “continuous depopulation of municipalities and regions” within the country; or “deterioration of public administration” when the government fails to promote a “prestigious, moralized, revitalized and efficient public sector”. “No one will have any difficulty,” continued the text, “to add to a new list of urgent questions that seriously endanger national life, about which much has been said and which, year after year, continue to wait for a sufficient solution.” Therefore, “the prevailing feeling in the country” in contemplation of the recent past and present could not but be “annoyance at urgent battles, the need for which was endlessly discussed, at decisions that were changed or postponed, and at rejected goals” or which were not clearly formulated ” .

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Between “untapped resources” and/or “lack of organizational and decision-making capacity” there was “widespread anxiety” stemming from the inevitable observation that “we are very far from the results that we could achieve thanks to the progress of the Portuguese and Portugal”. This was the macro goal of the reformist, humanist and liberalizing technocrats that SEDES brought together. “Ultimately,” they reminded Marcelo Cayetano, “the real obstacle can only be associated with the low political priority of economic and social development in our country.” So, in short, there was an urgent need to “radically change our economic, social and political way of life”, since “a national balance based on general anemia, repression and weakening of various participants” is unsustainable and pernicious.

SEDES did not know that the Estado Novo would fall in April 1974, that democracy would come in 1976, and Europe from the EEC (after EFTA) in 1986 of repression, finally gained the freedom that was discussed between the lines of the 1972 manifesto ., there would be conditions for solving (almost) all economic and social problems of development and cohesion.

Fifty years have passed since this manifesto, and almost the same number has already been in democracy. However, if we compare the above quotes with the Portuguese present, the feeling of deja vu is indescribable. SEDES wondered what the country would be like in 1980 and is wondering today (in its recent study “Ambition: Doubling GDP in 20 Years”) where we will be in 2040. It may be a replay of a sad fate: knowing (some) where to go, but never getting there!

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Algeria interested in Portuguese companies investing in renewable energy – Observer



Algeria interested in Portuguese companies investing in renewable energy - Observer

Foreign Minister João Gomes Cravinho met this Wednesday with his Algerian counterpart Ramtan Lamamra, who expressed interest in Portuguese companies investing in Algeria’s solar and wind energy.

Speaking with Lusa, João Cravinho also said that for 2023 it was decided to hold a “high-level meeting chaired by the prime ministers” of the two countries, a meeting to be held in Algiers, in addition to the state visit of the President of Algeria. Algeria to Portugal.

The Portuguese foreign minister said today’s visit to Algeria, where he was with Ramtan Lamamra, whom he has known since 2005 when he was ambassador to Lisbon, is “based on old knowledge”, but also a visit to a country that “does not to be a neighbor”, shares “a lot of fears”. “Not being a neighboring country, it almost shares many concerns about the region, the Mediterranean, the European Union’s relationship with Africa and the Arab world. It was important for us to talk about what we can do together as part of the geopolitical and geo-economic transformation,” he explained.

João Cravinho stressed that the issue of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a factor “which could not but be the subject of dialogue”, and also added that “geo-economic issues related to energy, renewable energy sources and the opportunities that come with the digital transition” also were on the table.


“While Algeria is a major exporter of fossil fuels, it is also a country with huge potential in terms of solar and wind energy. We have very qualified companies in these areas, and the Algerian side has expressed interest in [ter] Portuguese investors in these areas,” the minister said.

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The official said that it would be a matter of working with the Portuguese Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade (AICEP), with the Secretary of State for Internationalization, as well as with a sectoral ministry, namely the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. A “high-level meeting chaired by the prime ministers” of the two countries is scheduled for 2023, a meeting to be held in Algiers, in addition to the Algerian President’s state visit to Portugal.

“We have a very busy calendar between the two countries. Now we will try to organize a mixed commission, where technical specialists from both countries will gather,” he said, stressing that there are “14 legal documents that are practically finalized and will be signed” in 2023.

João Gomes Cravinho was on a visit to Algiers today to assess bilateral relations in the economic sphere, as well as in terms of cooperation, language and culture, and to discuss international issues.

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