Nurse Vacancies at St. Boniface Hospital Impact Care

February 25, 2019

Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew addressed media today regarding rising vacancy rates for nurses at St. Boniface Hospital. Documents obtained by the Official Opposition show vacancy rates increasing from April 2018 through to January 2019.

The neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU) is facing one of the largest vacancy rates in the hospital. In August 2018 NICU nurses wrote a letter to the Minister of Health saying chronic understaffing is putting patients in danger and forcing nurses to work 16-hour mandatory overtime shifts. According to documents there was a 19% vacancy rate in the department at the time, but this shot up to a 30% vacancy rate in January 2019.

According to documents, the hospital’s emergency department had a 15% vacancy rate as of January 1st 2019, with 22 out of 151 positions empty. That rate has remained relatively unchanged over the past year, despite the Pallister government’s plan to close Concordia Hospital emergency room and divert patients to St. Boniface in June. Last week government was forced to open over-capacity beds at St. Boniface Hospital in order to meet overwhelming demands at its emergency room.

“These numbers make clear the Pallister government is refusing to listen to front line nurses and patients,” said Kinew. “Nurses raised the alarm in the fall that understaffing was impeding their ability to provide quality care, but rather than solve the problem Pallister continued to make cuts. His plan is putting our most vulnerable patients at risk.”

Other departments struggling with high vacancy rates include:

  • Cardiac science intensive care (26%)

  • Occupational therapy (41%)

  • Woman and Child Resource Team (34%)

  • Clinical Support Resource Team (36%)

  • Critical Care Resource Team (40%)

“By refusing to fill positions, the Pallister government is putting patients and health care workers at risk. Wait times are rising and quality of care is deteriorating,” Kinew said. “Enough is enough. The Premier must immediately stop his plan to close hospitals and reverse his cuts to Manitobans’ health care.”

Click on the Adobe Acrobat icon below to see nursing vacancies at St. Boniface Hospital.

PDF FormatAdobe Acrobat version.