Getting rid of RNs no way to improve health care: Michael

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) says the provincial government’s approach to health care – removing some of the most important workers – is baffling and can only lead to a deterioration in service for patients.

“We are hearing from many corners of the province that registered nurses are being laid off, or are being replaced by licensed practical nurses,” said Michael. “Just yesterday, we heard that the Veterans Pavilion in St. John’s is losing five RNs, and may have just one RN on night shifts to cover the needs of 56 patients, 14 of them in private rooms on a specialized dementia care unit.

“We know that the new Lewisporte facility will have one RN covering both long-term care and the emergency room in the evenings. We are hearing from community health nurses that LPNs are replacing RNs in that area.

“How long can we allow this persistent deterioration of our health care system to continue?”

Michael notes that LPNs are also vitally important to health care. “But by simple definition, the training and skills are not the same as the training and skills of an RN,” she says. “It is unfair and unrealistic to expect an LPN to assume all the duties and responsibilities of a registered nurse.

“I sincerely hope the government will rethink pressuring health care boards to save money, and start focusing on patient care.”

Associated Caucus Members: 

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