“This should be one of the first accountability structures established: the well-being of patients and staff is too important to simply allow this report to sit on a shelf collecting dust” — Jason MacLean, NSGEU President
Halifax (21 Jan. 2019) — The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE) welcomed the recommendations of the Minister’s Expert Advisory Panel on Long-Term Care (LTC). While there remains a significant need for more beds in long-term care, the report puts a focus on addressing human resources and staffing concerns first.
Staffing levels and lack of beds major issues
The NSGEU feels strongly that staff ratios and staff mix need to be addressed as soon as possible, but also recognize there currently is an overall shortage of the professions required to fill any recommended ratios. For too long and too often, our care providers are forced to work short-staffed, increasing workplace stressors.
“It is an obvious and well-stated fact that the major issues are staffing levels and a lack of available beds across Nova Scotia,” said Jason MacLean, NSGEU President. “Seeing as panel members were not permitted to recommend an actual increase in bed numbers via the Minister’s Panel mandate, I think their staffing recommendations need to be seen as a positive first step in turning the tide. In the end, it is government funding that drives staffing: all eyes should now be on government to ensure service providers have the proper funding to act on these common-sense recommendations.”
The report echoes key narratives we have heard from our members working in LTC:
- The increased acute care needs of patients entering LTC are not being met with comparable resources.
- LTC work is often not seen as “real” healthcare delivery or a place where healthcare providers want to work.
- Accountability structures are disconnected, leaving a high degree of variability across the system.
Report includes short and medium term solutions
The report not only provides well thought out recommendations, it also lays out short-term, medium- and long-term solutions to implementing the recommendations. The NSGEU looks forward to being an active partner in moving forward in implementing the recommendations of the report.
“Now, we are calling on government to complete a yearly report card to track the implementation of these recommendations,” said MacLean.
“This should be one of the first accountability structures established: the well-being of patients and staff is too important to simply allow this report to sit on a shelf collecting dust”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 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