Health unions in NS have long denounced the emergency room shortage | Health crisis in the Atlantic

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Health unions in N.-É. have long denounced the shortage in emergencies | in the Atlantic

Unions have been calling for years more recruitment and retention measures, says President Janet Hazelton.

Health care unions in Nova Scotia say long-running staffing shortages in emergency rooms are why two hospital managers admitted last week that some patients could “die” at because of long wait times.

Hugh Gillis, vice-president of the Nova Scotia Union of Government and General Employees, says he was appalled to learn how long wait times had become in ERs across the province.

He was responding to a recent email to staff from managers at Dartmouth General Hospital who claimed people were dying due to long wait times in hospitals.< /p>

Janet Hazelton, president of the Nova Scotia Nurses Union, admits the problem is in part due, admittedly, to COVID-19, an increase in seasonal flu cases and other respiratory diseases. But she says labor shortages are nothing new.

The president of the Nova Scotia Nurses Union, Janet Hazelton.

She recalls that unions have been calling for more recruitment and retention measures, and adds that a bonus scheme has not worked to retain emergency room nurses.

Ms Hazelton believes that it's possible the dramatic language used in the managers' email was prompted by fears that ERs in Nova Scotia would follow the pattern of those in New Brunswick, where two people reportedly recently died in hospital waiting rooms. #x27;hospital aux.

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