FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 23, 2024
Kim Churchill, NDP Candidate for the district of Conception Bay East - Bell Island, was joined by the leader of Newfoundland and Labrador’s NDP Jim Dinn to reveal disturbing numbers about the growing number of vacancies in public healthcare across the province. Through her research Churchill uncovered that in the last two years vacancies in public healthcare ballooned to reach 1,905 unfilled positions. Some of which have been vacant for over 154 weeks.
“This government hasn’t been forthcoming about the reality of the healthcare crisis in this province and we should all be concerned about the effects on our public healthcare system,” said Churchill. “Despite calls from the NDP and healthcare unions, for years the Liberal government has refused to focus on the retention of healthcare workers. The choices they have made to rely on recruitment from abroad along with travel agency nurses has resulted in massive vacancies and increased workload of those who remain.”
Jim Dinn echoed Churchill's concerns and is calling on the government to do better to protect and strengthen our public healthcare system.
“Last week the minister of health claimed to be not aware of the latest nursing vacancy report. However this information was obviously already compiled. This administration prefers to give the illusion that everything is under control. It’s clear from what Kim and her team have uncovered that the Liberal government doesn’t have a handle on the healthcare crisis, and underscores why we need more NDP voices like hers in the House of Assembly,” said Dinn.
“The solution is right there in front of this government -- listen to frontline workers. They’ve warned successive governments a crisis was coming and they were ignored. We need to phase out travel nurses and reinvest that money in paying public healthcare workers more to keep them in the public system. Just look at the situation with the Association of Allied Health Professionals.
“It is all very well to build a new hospital or other infrastructure but it isn’t going to solve the human resource crisis. We have already seen government make this mistake. Most notably not being able to open all the beds in a long-term care facility.
We are calling on the Liberal government to make the right choices to protect our public health system, and in turn everyday people, particularly seniors, persons with disabilities and the vulnerable who are going to suffer the most if we don’t retain healthcare workers.
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