A shortage of nurses at St. Boniface Hospital causes concern

A shortage of nurses at St. Boniface Hospital causes concern

Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew thinks that the problem of health in the province requires increased attention.

At the moment, there is a significant shortage of nurses at St. Boniface Hospital. Due to this patient care can be worse than necessary.

“Patient care might suffer simply because of this government’s obsession with cutting healthcare costs,” said Kinew.

The Pallister government does not fully agree. It said that the neo-natal intensive care unit shows a lack of staff but in other departments everything is not so critical.

“In August 2018 NICU nurses wrote a letter to the Minister of Health saying chronic understaffing is putting patients in danger and forcing nurses to work 16-hour mandatory overtime shifts. According to documents there was a 19 percent vacancy rate in the department at the time, but this shot up to a 30 percent vacancy rate in January 2019,” said the Manitoba NDP release.

According to the Manitoba NDP data other departments struggling with high vacancy rates are:

-Cardiac science intensive care (26 percent);

-Occupational therapy (41 percent)

-Woman and Child Resource Team (34 percent)

-Clinical Support Resource Team (36 percent)

-Critical Care Resource Team (40 percent)

The Minister of Health also says that not all figures are true.

“When adjusted to include the new positions that we just created, removed from data set, there is no evidence that the vacancies are going up at St. Boniface or any other hospital,” said Cameron Friesen.

Due to increased demand, there are also not enough beds for all patients in the city’s hospitals. Hospitals are forced to add extra beds.

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