NAPE president Carol Furlong is raising concerns about the effect health-care cuts are having on patient and worker safety.
In a news release, Furlong said NAPE’s concerns regarding a new protective community residence for dementia patients in Lewisporte is a prime example of the negative effect that cuts are having on the province’s health-care system.
“The new protective community residence scheduled to open in Lewisporte is an example of misguided policies driven by the current trend of cutting at all costs by the health boards, in this case by Central Health,” Furlong said in a news release. “The residence in question will house 12 patients with various levels of dementia. On the night shift there will be one staff person to provide care and security for the residents. This has the potential to place patients and staff at risk. If there was a catastrophic event, such as a fire it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to awaken and safely evacuate patients. This is totally unacceptable.”
Furlong said the state of the province’s health-care system continues to be a matter of concern and discussion across the province.
She said workloads have increased to unacceptable levels which compromises the ability of staff to provide compassionate levels of patient care.
“Staff are working short split shifts and have difficulty receiving time off. All of this is leading to fatigue and unmanageable stress levels,”said Furlong. “In recent weeks Central Health has been in the forefront as family members of patients feel they have nowhere to turn to address their concerns but to the media. The approach health-care boards, including Central Health, are taking to balance the books is simply not working, not for the patients and not for the staff.”
NAPE is calling on the minister of health to review decisions like this being made by the health boards to ensure patient care and safety are not being compromised to create more efficiency.