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Nurse question decision making in Fraser Health

Contributor
By Contributor
July 11th, 2014

The BC Nurses’ Union says a government review pays lip service to the problems in Fraser Health, and provides no concrete, immediate action to solve overcrowding problems in hospitals.
 
“The minister talked about new residential care beds and hiring more nurses,” says BCNU President Debra McPherson. “Where is a plan and budget for that? With no details, deadlines or deliverables, nurses are wary of a so-called ‘action plan’ that offers only a vague direction to ‘focus on decongestion strategies’ for the future.”
 
If Fraser Health is to focus on keeping people out of the hospital, where is the long-term funding for community care nurses and 267 residential care beds?
 
The report found Fraser Health hospitals are among the worst in Canada for patient care. Research shows these poor outcomes for patients are directly related to low nursing staffing levels. Yet the solution offered is “further education of both medical and nursing staff.”
 
The report claims to make “patient centredness” a priority. But BCNU has just learned Fraser Health is closing six psychiatric beds at Surrey Memorial Hospital, which were opened to ease congestion and which will impact five nursing positions.
 
“We see no evidence of any immediate action to resolve the overcapacity issues. Patients should not be on stretchers in the halls, or forced to sit in the waiting room,” says McPherson. “They need to be under the care of a trained, professional nurse and that requires an increase in staffing levels.”
 
McPherson notes Fraser Health’s 2016-17 operating budget provides for only a 4 percent increase in acute care funding and a whopping 30 percent increase for “corporate” expenditures.
 
BCNU will be requesting a meeting with the CEO of Fraser Health for clarification of the plan and intends to offer real solutions to the problems plaguing healthcare in the region.

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