The BC Nurses’ Union is calling on the government to address several key issues facing the healthcare system ahead of the release of the upcoming provincial budget.
As the pandemic draws near the two-year mark, nurses are emphasizing the fact that patient care is deteriorating amid the latest surge and spike in hospitalizations.
The Nurses’ Union is sharing with MLAs first-hand experiences and specific issues in each riding in an effort to spur change within the healthcare system and shed light on the “harsh reality” being experienced by nurses and patients.
“Although there are serious overreaching issues throughout the health-care system, such as a critical shortage of nurses, continued exposure to violence in the workplace, and the worrying decline of mental and physical health among nurses, our goal is to give our patients a voice and illustrate the impact these issues are having on their care,” said BCNU President, Aman Grewal.
The BCNU is hoping for immediate changes as the healthcare system “struggles under the weight” of the Omicron wave.
The Union says the record-breaking hospitalizations are taking a significant mental and physical toll on the “already exhausted” nursing workforce.
“Our nurses are speaking out on behalf of their patients,” says Grewal. “The service reductions we are seeing around the province are a direct result of not having enough staff, which is seriously impacting patient outcomes.”
Grewal says nurses are facing an unmanageable number of patients on a daily basis and seeing them suffer because of it.
“As a result of this pressure, nurses are burnt out. It’s reached a point where many are telling us they just can’t do it anymore,” Grewal added.
In a recent survey, 35 percent of all nurses said that the experience of the pandemic made them more likely to leave nursing in the next two years.
BCNU says it has sent letters to Health Minister Adrian Dix, Labour Minister Harry Bains and Advanced Education Minister Anne Kang asking them to work together within their respective ministries to commit to solutions that address the nursing shortage in the province.