Amid union strike, RI hospitals feeling ripple effect

Just hours after thousands of health care workers at Rhode Island and Hasbro Children’s Hospital walked off the job to strike, patients at other hospitals across the state said they were feeling the impact.

From Providence to South County, patients were being re-routed or avoiding Rhode Island Hospital on their own.

Eduarda Pavao of Warwick was at The Miriam Hospital all day Monday, after her friend was rushed to the emergency room.

Pavao said the impact of the strike was clear when she entered the hospital.

"Crazy. It’s busy. A lot of people, not enough room," Pavao said. "People sitting in their stretchers in a hallway waiting for a doctor."

Pavao said she and her friend got to the hospital at around 1:00 pm, soon before the Rhode Island Hospital health care workers were relieved from their duties. She said it took them until dusk to get a bed.

"One of the nurses did mention it because I asked if it was about the strike, and she said yes," Pavao said.

Meanwhile, Freddy Estevez was at South County Hospital as his girlfriend recovered from giving birth to a baby boy on Sunday.

He said even though they were 30 miles from the impacted hospitals, he saw a huge difference between Sunday and Monday.

"[Sunday] was quiet and then [Monday] with all of the commotion, you know, helicopters coming in and out [and] nowhere for people to really park," he said.

ABC 6 spoke with a nurse at South County Hospital off-camera who said it was a busy Monday, but they couldn’t say for sure if it was because of the strike.

They said summer months are always busier at the hospital.