November 30, 2013 - 12:38 PM
VERNON – A handful of nurses took to the sidewalk on Highway 97 outside the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Friday in protest of changes being made to care delivery on Vancouver Island.
Similar protests were held in Kelowna, Prince George and Victoria.
The B.C. Nurses Union is fighting a move they claim is being made by health authorities to save money on the backs of patients.
According to BCNU president Debra McPherson, Royal Jubilee and Victoria General hospitals are going to replace 122 nurses with care aides.
McPherson said the move has “nurses fearing for patient safety.”
The care delivery model redesign, or CDMR, is scheduled to go into effect in January 2014 in Victoria.
The model was first used in October to replace 26 nurses at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital with care aides.
Nurses in Vernon were wearing black and red to symbolize the protest.
The union claims patients are facing lengthy and sometimes dangerous delays getting their mediations. It asserts nurses can’t assess their patients for six or more hours after the start of their shift.
“Nurses aren’t losing their jobs,” McPherson said. “But they’re being taken off the front lines and away from the bedside.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013