“We fully expect that the negative impact on our healthcare system will only worsen in the foreseeable future if the current trend of cutbacks is not stopped,” continued Furlong.
St. John's (26 Sept. 2012) - Cuts and other cost saving measures are having a negative impact on the healthcare system, particularly with regards to patient care and staff workloads, says Carol Furlong, President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE/NUPGE).
“Our members across the province are saying that cost saving measures implemented by the various healthcare authorities is leading to reduced patient care, staffing shortages, reduced hours of work in some important fields, fewer opportunities for professional development, and increased stress and strain on our province’s healthcare workers,” said Furlong.
“Our hospitals, clinics and long term care facilities should not be run like factories. We are talking about our healthcare system – a system that must focus on the patients and ensure that the people of this province have the level of care that they expect and deserve.”
In recent months, the real impact of cutbacks on our province’s healthcare system has become painfully apparent.
Failure to replace staff on leave, increased responsibilities, and reduced hours of work is leading to excessive workloads. As a result, staff-on-duty are left to prioritize patient care which means that the needs of all patients cannot be adequately addressed. Recruitment and retention issues in some areas makes the situation worse. Trades workers are leaving their positions for more lucrative work in the private sector. As some workers retire, positions are not being refilled or are turned into temporary ones making it difficult to recruit the most qualified people.
“We fully expect that the negative impact on our healthcare system will only worsen in the foreseeable future if the current trend is not stopped,” continued Furlong. “The Minister of Health, as well as management at the health authorities, must listen to our province’s health care workers when they raise concerns about their workloads, working conditions, stress and patient care – not ignore them.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 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