OAKLAND, Calif., July 13, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- By a vote of 38 to 2, psychiatrists at John George Psychiatric Hospital demanded that the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, Joe Walker, M.D., be removed from that position.
The doctors are no longer willing to tolerate a Chair who fails to treat patients, who is far removed from the workings of his Department, and who in his role as an interim chief medical officer has awarded financially reckless contracts. A contract negotiated by Dr. Walker with Traditions Behavioral Health would pay $264 per hour for psychiatrist services, 50% more than what it costs to have John George employees continue to do the work. John George doctors took the unprecedented step of voting no on Dr. Walker's leadership because his continued missteps will waste resources and jeopardize patient care.
"We think that Alameda County residents should know what's going on at John George Psychiatric Hospital," said Milton Lorig, M.D., a psychiatrist who worked at the facility for decades. "Dr. Walker wants to spend a lot of money on a plan that will also compromise patient care."
"We've never had a group of psychiatrists take a poll on their leadership and vote no so overwhelming," said Stuart Bussey, M.D., President of the Union of American Physicians and Dentists, which represents the doctors. "We're hoping that stakeholders in the community, and that means both taxpayers and those who rely on the mental health system in Alameda County, will take notice."
John George Psychiatric Hospital, located in Oakland, is part of the Alameda Health System. The hospital treats the acutely mentally-ill in both an in-patient and outpatient setting. The hospital's psychiatric emergency department provides services on a 24-7 basis to those facing a mental health crisis.
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SOURCE Union of American Physicians and Dentists