Nova Scotia hospitals overcrowded, patients and staff at risk

"We appreciate the ongoing advocacy of our members and hope these actions will resolve some of the workload and safety concerns that are being raised." — Sandra Mullen, NSGEU 1st Vice-President

Halifax (08 Feb. 2017) — The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE) has announced that it will strike a working group to address concerns from nurses about the Nova Scotia Health Authority's decision to strictly enforce a directive whenever the hospital is in Code Census that requires patients be admitted to floors even when there are no beds. Code Census refers to a situation when the emergency room is over capacity.

Hospital overcrowding and lack of resources impact patient care

"It is unacceptable that patients are being crammed into hallways and, in some cases, are being double- and triple-bunked in rooms that may not have adequate equipment in place," said NSGEU 1st Vice-President Sandra Mullen.

"Our hospitals are overcrowded, and as a result, the safety of patients and front-line staff is being put at risk."

Based on feedback the NSGEU/NUPGE received from members at a meeting held on February 6, the union has raised a number of questions and concerns with the employer, and together with Local 101 Executive and members, has developed a plan of action.

NSGEU/NUPGE committee maps plan of action

NSGEU/NUPGE health care members, legal counsel and staff will immediately strike a working committee to create recommendations and actions to improve the situation caused by ongoing Code Census at the hospitals. The NSGEU/NUPGE will also be sending letters outlining members' concerns to the Minister of Health & Wellness, Premier, and licensing bodies.

"We appreciate the ongoing advocacy of our members, and hope these actions will resolve some of the workload and safety concerns that are being raised," said Mullen.


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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