WINNIPEG - The 64 physicians from the St. Boniface and Grace Hospitals and the Health Sciences Centre say they’re gravely concerned about low morale among, and a critical, unsustainable level of resignations by, senior nurses in their departments.
The doctors say leaders with Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Shared Health, and their own hospitals aren’t respecting, supporting, and valuing emergency department nurses enough while they face overwhelming workloads as a result of the COVID-19 and meth crises.
Coinciding with the letter from the doctors comes a statement by the organization that represents 3,000 physicians across Manitoba. “Doctors value and appreciate Manitoba Nurses’ expertise, dedication and compassion,” Doctors Manitoba says. “But today, there's a critical nursing shortage, and that affects patients and physicians every day.” The physicians’ labour union is led by CEO Theresa Oswald, General Council Andrew Swan, and Communications Director and strategist Keir Johnson, who previously worked for Oswald when she was health minister.
Meanwhile, the province says it’s continuing to implement what it calls the strongest public health and enforcement measures in Canada to ease pressure on Manitoba’s health-care system. “While our seven-day case average begins to drop and our vaccine numbers increase, our hospitals are still full of Manitobans facing severe outcomes from the virus,” Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin says. “It is crucial Manitobans continue to follow the fundamentals so we do not slip back into the high case numbers we were seeing just a few weeks ago.” Manitoba is seeking input through its EngageMB portal regarding what needs to be done to support the province’s health care system.