Nurses Meet In Nova Scotia To Demand Government To Repair Broken Healthcare System – Halifax | The Canadian News

The nurse shortage is not a new problem for Nova Scotia Nurses Union president Janet Hazelton, but in her 20 years as the organization’s leader, she says she has never seen the staffing situation look worse.

More than 50 nurses and union members gathered Friday morning outside the Nova Scotia Nurses Union headquarters in Dartmouth to join in a national day of action highlighting the nursing crisis in Canada.

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“We as nurses owe it to our patients, residents and families, we must continue our fight to say when we are healthy, when we have the right staff and when we are safe, that means you, the residents, the families and customers, you are safe and you are getting the good care you deserve, ”Hazelton said.

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The nurses are “done asking,” Hazleton said. That is the rallying cry of nurses and other frontline healthcare workers demanding urgent government action to repair the broken healthcare system.

With voters casting their votes in Monday’s federal election, nurses said they are frustrated with the status quo and are demanding action and investment to fix the staffing problem.

“We are here, our voice is strong and we hope that you (the government) will deliver,” said intensive care nurse Kerri Webster-McIsaac. “We want better for our constituents in Nova Scotia.”

As the pandemic progresses, the last 18 months have been tough for healthcare workers, said Jen Thiel, an emergency room nurse.

More and more nurses are leaving their jobs, says the union.

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There are currently close to 1,500 nursing vacancies in Nova Scotia, resulting in longer wait times at hospitals across the province and forcing Nova Scotia Health to postpone more than 150 non-urgent surgeries in the Midtown and Midwest health regions. North.

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For frontline healthcare workers, the ongoing staff shortage means more pressure on them to work longer hours and is leading to burnout, Thiele said.

“We have been short of nurses long before the pandemic and the pandemic has made things ten times worse because we have lost a lot of retired nurses and the people who planned to stay in the profession have left and that is putting more pressure on us. ,” she said.

Lack of staff is also putting pressure on nurses working in the long-term care sector, which was hit hard by the pandemic as the virus claimed the lives of thousands of elderly Canadians.

Reports show that the government and the long-term care sector were ill-prepared for the pandemic and requires significant investment and reforms to improve the quality of care to protect residents and those who work at the facilities.

Click to play video: '18 months after the pandemic, there are still no major solutions to problems in Canada's long-term care system '

18 months after the pandemic, there are still no major solutions to problems in Canada’s long-term care system

18 months after the pandemic, there are still no major solutions to problems in Canada’s long-term care system – September 9, 2021

“We are so understaffed in long-term care that we need more of all of us to get the job done and provide better, safe and appropriate care for our patients,” said Long-Term Care Nurse Glenda Sabine.

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The new progressive Conservative government and Prime Minister Tim Houston have made solving Nova Scotia’s health care problem their top priority and campaigned on the promise of investing a record amount of taxpayer dollars to achieve it.

Houston and Health and Welfare Minister Michelle Thompson will meet directly with frontline health workers starting Monday and tour the province to speak with those who work in health care to seek their solutions.

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The government says it also wants to hear from professional associations, unions, and regulatory colleges outside of the health care tour.

Recruitment and education are key to addressing the staff shortage, Webster-McIsaac said.

“I heard that since the pandemic, the requests have increased, yet the seats are not there, there are not enough,” said Webster-McIsaac. “The government has not sponsored enough seats to bring in enough nurses to train.”

The Nova Scotia Nurses Union represents nearly 8,000 nurses who work in hospitals, long-term care homes, and in community and primary care settings.

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