Media Statement: MNU responds to health system redeployment plans

Publish date: Friday, November 06, 2020

COVID-19

Health care

Nursing shortages

November 6, 2020
For Immediate Release

 

MNU President Darlene Jackson responds to health system redeployment plans

 

“As COVID-19 cases and hospitalization rates surge, nurses are doing everything they can to meet the needs of patients. We have been urgently calling on government and health officials to deliver additional resources for weeks.

Bolstering frontline human resources is essential for responding to growing demand, and we recognize there is a need to adapt traditional models given the extremely high numbers we’re faced with.

But let’s be clear: this is a last-minute pilot for an entirely new model of care when hospitals are already at capacity. This is not effective planning. In fact, it’s the opposite. It illustrates that government and health officials are scrambling to put plans in place now, when our system is already stretched too thin.

Perhaps more concerning is that health officials intend to ask health professionals from entirely different disciplines to step into unfamiliar care settings to provide support. Nurses are being asked to 'quarterback' these care teams with an entirely new group of care providers amidst an already extremely busy, complex and stressful situation.

This approach inevitably dilutes the quality of care being afforded to Manitoba’s patients. This is frustrating considering there is no commitment to invest in additional resources to support nurses and other care providers. The Pallister government has still not invested substantively in recruitment and retention of critical human resources. Instead, they are shuffling existing staff and resources around the system, hoping that they can weather the growing storm with reduced care standards.

At this late stage, there are many drawbacks to this approach. Government should have come up with a substantive plan to add capacity months ago, instead of rushing through a band-aid solution to an acute issue at the last minute.”

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