December 8, 2022

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Ottawa hospital asks ‘discouraged’ Alberta health-care employees to return east

Ottawa hospital asks ‘discouraged’ Alberta health-care employees to return east

As Alberta’s health-care unions proceed to warn of a staffing disaster, an Ontario hospital CEO is constant to make his pitch for health-care employees within the Prairie province to take their careers east.

Twice this month, Alex Munter, the CEO of the Youngsters’s Hospital of Japanese Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa, has directed his recruitment efforts at Alberta health-care employees.

The most recent put up got here Monday. Munter tagged Alberta Well being Companies employees, saying: “If you happen to really feel discouraged since you’re being blamed for health-care issues quite than being thanked for 2½ years of tireless work.… We would welcome your dedication and experience at CHEO!”

Munter continued to make his pitch Tuesday in an interview on the Calgary Eyeopener.

“In Canada, we’ve not deliberate adequately for an ageing workforce and elevated demand within the well being system,” he mentioned.

“So what we’re doing right here is we’re actually reaching out in every single place, and that features Alberta, and , there’s loads of modifications coming to Alberta Well being Companies from the sounds of it and people might not go well with everyone.”

The affords come as Alberta hospitals proceed to battle with staffing shortages, in line with 5 unions representing greater than 120,000 health-care employees within the province.

On Monday, the United Nurses of Alberta (UNA), the Alberta Union of Provincial Staff (AUPE), the Canadian Union of Public Staff (CUPE), the Well being Sciences Affiliation of Alberta (HSAA) and Buddies of Medicare (FOM) referred to as on Well being Minister Jason Copping to satisfy with them.

They mentioned they wish to accomplice together with his ministry to develop a plan targeted on retaining and recruiting extra workers and bettering working situations.

“We have to cease the bloodletting and attempt to stabilize our workforce,” mentioned Heather Smith, UNA president. 

“It isn’t shocking that we’ve compelled, I might recommend to you, many health-care employees, whether or not that is physicians or nurses or others, to think about whether or not Alberta is a spot they wish to observe merely due to the disrespect that they’ve skilled.”

On the UCP’s annual common assembly on Saturday, Premier Danielle Smith advised the province’s staffing issues are a results of poor decision-making, together with vaccine mandates, by Alberta Well being Companies.

She’s vowed to restructure management at AHS earlier than the top of the yr. 

“As soon as the world is aware of as nicely that we aren’t going to have vaccine mandates, I think that those that have been fired in different jurisdictions will know that they’ll have a house right here,” she mentioned.

LISTEN | CHEO CEO Alex Munter explains why he needs Alberta health-care employees to return to Ontario:

6:47Ottawa hospital CEO needs Alberta well being care employees

We hear from the CEO of a hospital in Ottawa who needs well being care employees in Alberta to go work for him.

Munter says he has heard from folks within the province who’re feeling “disrespected,” and his posts are a means of reminding them that they’ve choices.

“This can be a sellers’ market … I wish to keep on their radar,” he mentioned.

‘We’re struggling’

In an emailed assertion, Steve Buick, press secretary for the minister of well being, mentioned higher entry to well being care is the minister’s No. 1 precedence.

“We’re working to rebuild the well being workforce, which is underneath pressure throughout Canada and in different nations,” he mentioned.

“We have to do extra and act quicker to get extra workers into the system. Now that Minister Copping has been re-appointed and sworn in … he is engaged on plans to try this, constructing on the work that is been completed thus far.”

Buick added that Copping has met with leaders of the UNA, AUPE and HSAA up to now yr, and he’d be comfortable to satisfy with them once more.

Heather Smith, president of the United Nurses of Alberta, speaks at a information convention Monday. Members of Alberta’s health-care unions gathered to voice issues over staffing ranges within the province. (CBC)

However the unions say not sufficient is being completed to retain health-care professionals within the province proper now.

“We have to make Alberta a most popular employer in order that we will recruit and practice extra folks to tackle these health-care roles,” mentioned Mike Parker, president of the Well being Sciences Affiliation of Alberta.

“We care about each affected person we see, and we wish to be there for them of their time of want, however we’re struggling.”

Workers shortages over the previous few months have led to non permanent closures at a number of Alberta emergency departments. The most recent occurred Monday, when the Milk River Emergency Division closed as a result of there have been no obtainable physicians. It’s going to reopen on Wednesday. 

Dr. James Talbot, former chief medical officer of well being for Alberta, says health-care employees have labored tirelessly to care for sufferers over the previous three years, however some could also be contemplating whether or not they need to take their abilities elsewhere.

“They caught it out in one of the best, , traditions of their professions till the very finish. However now they’re making choices as as to if or not they wish to keep in a spot that does not appear to understand them,” he mentioned in an interview on the Calgary Eyeopener.

“I believe, sadly, the feedback of the premier … are simply making that scenario worse.”

All of it presents a chance for Munter, who says he has a whole bunch of vacancies to fill.

“I am making an attempt to drum up curiosity. I believe there could also be curiosity in Alberta.”