Re: "Government committed to Royal Columbian redevelopment," www.thenownews.com, Tuesday, June 12.
Given the provincial government's current budget-focused approach to health care, the ultimatum to improve patient care within 150 days - delivered to Fraser Health earlier by Health Minister Mike de Jong - is, quite frankly, ridiculous.
Without concrete steps to increase healthcare funding and allow Fraser Health and other health authorities to hire more nurses to ensure patients get safe care when they need it, the minister is engaging in little more than public relations bluster.
More people than ever are seeking care from our public health-care facilities and services.
But the government is insisting on the tightest health-care budgets in a decade.
So it's not surprising nurses are forced to care for increasing numbers of patients in hallways and closets and other areas not appropriate for patient care, that housekeeping efforts against serious infections are taking a beating, and that there aren't enough community supports to decongest crowded hospital wards.
The best way to carry out the improvements the minister seeks is to hire more nurses and other staff. But all the government has to offer is announcements about new hospital construction projects off into the future.
We believe the minister should meet with front-line nurses and learn what's needed to improve patient care. But he should not come telling us to do more with less.
Safe patient care, quality patient care, means more nurses and more support staff and more resources to provide the care patients need and deserve.
Debra McPherson President BC Nurses' Union
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