Michael wants proof that increasing nurses’ workload reduces ER wait times

NDP Health Critic Lorraine Michael

NDP Health Critic Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) is not convinced that adding the extra job of collecting blood samples to the already-heavy workload of emergency room nurses will do anything to reduce wait times, as the minister indicated yesterday in the House of Assembly. Michael returned to the topic today during Question Period.

“Yesterday the Minister said that having nurses collect blood samples in St. Clare's ER is about reducing wait times,” Michael said in the House today.

“I ask the Minister is there data showing how much wait times will be reduced? Will the Minister table the evidence in the House?”

Other North American hospitals have experimented with having nurses collect blood samples. In many cases, the problems that accompanied the practice meant the emergency departments returned to having the collection done by the medical lab assistants.

“Many ER Departments in other jurisdictions have gone back to using lab technicians because the results were better and more cost-effective,” said Michael.

“I ask the Minister why are reliability and quality being sacrificed in the name of efficiency?”

The NDP critic says the decision to increase the workload of St. Clare’s ER nurses was a complete surprise to them, and she wonders who, if anyone, was consulted before this decision was made.

Associated Caucus Members: 

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