New bill can affect patient and nurse safety

Publish date: Monday, July 04, 2016

Health and safety

MNU president Sandi Mowat recently presented to the Standing Committee on Legislative Affairs regarding proposed amendments to the Mental Health Act.

As it stands, a peace officer must retain custody of a person that is receiving an involuntary medical examination or psychiatric assessment. The peace officer is also required to stay with the individual until the examination or assessment is completed.

Under the proposed changes, this will no longer be a requirement. Bill 3, the Mental Health Amendment Act, proposes that another “designated person” with appropriate training will be able to stay with the individual throughout the assessment or examination process.

Mowat said that this legislation can significantly impact the safety of patients and health care providers.

“Nurses need to be in a position where they can trust that any person accompanying involuntary patients has the authoritative presence and experience to provide the highest level of safety for patients, the public, and the health care team,” she said.

She then provided a few cautionary notes, calling for clarity and consistency, to ensure that the safety of all parties involved will not be jeopardized under the new legislation.

The bill has passed third reading and now awaits public consultation with mental health and law enforcement stakeholders. The Minister of Health has committed to include nurses in upcoming consultations, as the details and regulations are drafted.



Members Login

Enter your Manitoba Nurses Union ID number.
Enter the password that accompanies your ID number.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
13 + 0 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.