March 24, 2022 5:16am
The South Bruce Grey Health Centre presented their action plan for nursing recruitment and retention to Brockton Council.
SBGHC CEO, Michael Barrett, says the Ontario Nurses Association has recorded a need for an additional 22,000 nurses, and that need is felt locally.
“Across the province of Ontario, there’s a significant shortage of nurses. To address this issue and get us back to full service, on the recruitment front, we’re hiring agency nurses, casual nurses, and we’re also hiring ten (fourth year nursing) students.”
He adds they’re also recruiting for internationally educated nurses who are working on acquiring their licenses. They’ve also hired two registered midwives to assist in the family birthing centre.
Barrett says Brocton council wanted to know when the Walkerton emergency department would be able to reopen full time, but could not give a solid timeline.
“We are not at a point in time where we can provide a date. Right now a date would simply be a guess and we don’t want to set false expectations for the community and the patients that we serve.”
The emergency department at Walkerton’s hospital’s hours changed on December 27th, 2021, from 24 hours, to 8am to 8pm to deal with the shortage of nurses.
“I think the most important thing for the public to understand is that we want to get our services back to full operation. We’re making progress. It will take time. This is a significant issue not only for our organization but across the province. We hope to have our services back to full operation as soon as we can.”
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