During recent months, the waiting time in Winnipeg hospitals has increased significantly.
St. Boniface Hospital is no exception. The wait list for cardiac surgery at St. Boniface Hospital is twice longer than it was in autumn 2018.
“We had a comment from one of the physicians, one of the surgeons who said, ‘You show up at the hospital for your surgery, which you’ve planned your life around, your family’s planned their life around, you’re told there’s no bed or there’s no nurse, and come back in a week,’” said Darlene Jackson, president of the Manitoba Nurses Union.
Currently, more than 100 people are on the waiting list at this hospital. Urgent operations can be carried out with a delay of up to a week, planned - with a delay of up to two months.
“Recruitment is very challenging in cardiac sciences,” said Williams from the WRHA. “This is a highly specialized and skilled area, and it requires a special skill of nursing expertise and also interest in that area.”
Before starting work in the cardiology department, nurses undergo six-month training - the Winnipeg Critical Care Nursing Education Program.
However, Williams guarantees that all patients will have their surgeries.
“People who need surgery, we ensure that they get the surgery that they need, and we balance that with their medical need, their urgency of their case, and their fitness to be able to have the surgery completed,” said Williams.
Health Minister Cameron Friesen said that despite such high waiting time, the situation is not critical, because in 2014 more than 140 people were on the wait list.
“I understand that while there are vacancies in that area, it is not out of scope with historical vacancies that we’ve seen there,” said Friesen.
Williams also added that 12 graduates of the six-month training have already been hired, and the hospital gas several more open vacancies.