Number of Nurses Employed in Manitoba Declines from 2017 to 2018: CIHI Report

Publish date: Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Health care

MNU members

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Following the release of the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI) 2018 report on Nursing in Canada, which revealed approximately 500 fewer nurses employed in Manitoba in 2018 compared to 2017, MNU President Darlene Jackson called on the Pallister government to take immediate action to address the chronic nursing shortage that’s been exacerbated by cuts and closures in health care.

"It’s disturbing to see that there are fewer nurses employed in Manitoba. And most of that decrease appears to be from nurses providing direct care to patients," said Jackson. "Nurses just want to provide care for patients, but severe cuts and closures are chasing nurses out of the system by creating situations that are unsafe. The government needs to reverse course immediately, and develop a robust recruitment and retention strategy for nurses." 

The report includes two summary tables of data pertaining to the nursing workforce across Canada. One data set shows the number of regulated nurses "employed in direct care" within each health region has declined from 14,814 in 2017 to 14,304 in 2018, accounting for a net loss of 510 nurses. 

Another data set accounting for all nurses in Manitoba reveals that the 'employment status of nurses employed in profession' in Manitoba declined from 16,622 in 2017 to 16,065 for a net loss of 557 nurses. 

"After 2 years of cuts and closures and being repeatedly ignored or dismissed by this government, nurses are frustrated," said Jackson. "They are tired of being treated like pawns on a chess board. Aside from a failed ad campaign depicting nursing as ‘a day at the spa’, we haven’t seen a concerted effort to recruit and retain nurses. The proper functioning of our health care system depends on having enough nurses—we can’t continue down this path."

MNU represents over 12,000 nurses of all designations across Manitoba.


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