BC health authority calls for patience and vaccination during staff crisis
A British Columbia health authority is sounding the alarm over a staffing crisis at one of its hospitals.
In a Facebook post Northern Health on Friday said Fort St. John staff were “exhausted, overworked and faced with harsh criticism from the public and insults on their shifts.”
Calling the behavior “unacceptable”, the health authority explained that the emergency department at Fort St. John hospital has only five permanent registered nurses. The ministry has 20 nursing positions in total, Northern Health said.
“This requires nurses to be removed from other departments to support emergency operations,” the health authority said. “This means that in some cases there may be only one nurse available on a given shift.”
Northern Health’s statements match those of health care workers across the province who spoke to CTV News Vancouver in recent weeks.
They described already underfunded hospitals made even thinner by the increase in hospitalizations during the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The problem predates the coronavirus, however, and has been compounded by the fact that some healthcare workers have left the profession or full-time positions to take part-time positions where they can better control their hours and avoid burnout. professional.
Nurses held rallies at the constituency offices of Premier John Horgan and Health Minister Adrian Dix on Friday to demand more action to address the chronic understaffing of healthcare facilities in British Columbia.
In its Facebook post, Northern Health said it was doing “everything in its power” to address the nursing shortage in Fort St. John.
“We are currently working on recruiting and hiring for these nursing positions, recognizing that applications are very limited,” the health authority said, adding that it plans to fill four full-time positions by January. .
In addition, the Minister of Health announced on September 14 that Northern Health will receive $ 6.38 million to help recruit and retain health care workers in northern BC and primarily north focused -is, ”Northern Health added. “While the work has already started to capitalize on this investment, the relief will not be immediate.”
The health authority also noted the impact of COVID-19 cases on the situation, encouraging everyone in the region to get vaccinated.
Northern Health has the lowest rate of fully immunized residents among health authorities in British Columbia, and northeastern British Columbia has particularly low immunization levels.
Only 50 percent of eligible residents of the Peace River South Local Health Region – those aged 12 and older – received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. In the local health regions of Peace River North and Fort Nelson, the rate is 51%.
Province-wide, vaccination rates are much higher, with nearly 79% of all BC residents aged 12 and over receiving both doses on Friday.