Staff shortages, not nurse vacations, are causing rural hospital bed closings: United Nurses of Alberta
2021-06-09 from una.ca
Alberta Health Services has indicated clearly that unfilled vacancies for Registered Nurses, Registered Psychiatric Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses are the cause of bed closings and reduced Emergency Room coverage in rural hospitals, United Nurses of Alberta says.
Health Minister Tyler Shandro caused an uproar yesterday when he responded to a question in the Legislature about the closings and diminished access to Emergency Departments by blaming vacations taken by nurses and other front-line health care workers.
“AHS has never suggested to us that vacations are the problem,” said UNA President Heather Smith. “It’s offensive to suggest nurses are responsible for these problems by taking desperately needed vacations.”
“Obviously, if the system can’t operate when nurses and other health care workers take vacations, Alberta Health Services needs to hire more nurses and health care workers instead of planning to lay them off,” she said.
In addition, Smith said, “since November of 2019 the message to nurses from this government has been clear that they are not needed or wanted here. So the government has been creating this problem. They are driving nurses out of this province.”
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