LOS ANGELES, JAN. 29 -- Most nurses at county-run hospitals and clinics ended a three-day strike under court order today, but some doctors walked off the job and pharmacists staged a sickout because of stalled contract negotiations.
Assemblyman Mike Roos, president pro tem of the lower house of the state Legislature, said he would ask Gov. George Deukmejian (R) to declare a state of emergency because of the disruption to Los Angeles County's public health-care system for the needy.
Under such a decree, the state would reimburse private hospitals for treating the poor.
Since the nurses' strike began Tuesday morning, county hospitals have discharged patients early or transferred them to other facilities and have stopped accepting new patients. Fifty clinics also were affected, and most were forced either to curtail services or close.
The patient population in the county's six public hospitals was 2,005 today, down from 2,200 on Thursday and 33 percent below the normal 3,000.
Superior Court Judge Miriam Vogel issued the back-to-work order in the nurses' strike at 2:30 a.m., saying that the walkout posed "imminent danger to the public health and safety."
By midday, 23 percent of the 1,081 registered nurses scheduled to work the day shift remained out, but the union attributed the absences to inability to reach everyone on short notice.
Sixty-four pharmacists, 76 percent of those scheduled to work the day shift countywide, and about two dozen medical technicians at one of the hospitals were off the job today, county spokeswoman Toby Staheli said.