STATEMENT: Changes to Emergency Departments

This morning, the Minister of Health and Wellness and the CEO for Nova Scotia Health (NSH) announced a number of changes for Nova Scotia’s Emergency Departments. These include changes to staffing complements, the introduction of new technology, increased scopes of practice, and other positive steps to alleviate the incredible burden that our health care workers are shouldering on the front lines.

However, the key issue our members have outlined is the inability to retain skilled, experienced nursing staff in the ED.

“Today’s announcement does not address that concern,” said NSGEU 1st Vice President, Hugh Gillis, “The employer must provide incentives that will allow them to effectively keep experienced health care professionals in areas of high turnover and specialized need, such as the emergency department.”

On January 9th, we provided the government and employer with a letter and comprehensive list of 59 suggestions from our members working at the Halifax Infirmary Emergency Department. Some of those suggestions – such as adding care providers in the waiting room – have now been adopted.

“It is clear that government is listening and they are taking some action, but there is much more that could still be done,” said Gillis. “As the union representing almost 15,000 members working in the acute health care sector, we are pleased with the actions outlined today, and will continue to share frontline workers’ concerns and constructive ideas for improvement.”
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The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union represents over 35,000 workers who provide quality public services Nova Scotians count on every day.

For more information, please contact:
Holly Fraughton, NSGEU Communications Officer,
902-471-1781 (cell)

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