Doc says virus safety concerns led to firing, sues hospital

Published 10:36 am Thursday, April 9, 2020

OXFORD (AP) — A Mississippi doctor who was fired after raising concerns about her hospital’s safety measures in the coronavirus pandemic is now suing.
News outlets reported Dr. Samantha Houston was fired from Oxford’s Baptist Memorial Hospital after she wrote a Facebook post soliciting donations for equipment to communicate remotely with coronavirus patients. The post caused some confusion and was later edited to clarify that patients were being seen in-person by doctors and nurses, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported.
Ayoka Pond, a spokeswoman for the hospital, said Houston’s assertion that the hospital did not have capability to speak remotely with coronavirus patients was false. She also denied Houston’s other accusation, that the hospital did not have enough N95 masks for nurses treating coronavirus patients.
Houston filed the suit Monday against the hospital, its CEO, and a medical staffing agency that held her contract with the hospital. She is seeking actual damages for lost income.
Pond said the lawsuit was “fortunate” because the hospital will bring the facts about Houston’s firing to court “instead of trying the case with half-facts through the media as attempted by Dr. Houston.”

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