Special to Kincardine Independent
GREY-BRUCE – South Bruce Grey Health Centre (SBGHC) has been facing significant shortages in health human resources (HHR) for over five years, particularly with nurses and medical laboratory technologists.
To provide an update on this challenge, and the impact it is having on hospital services, SBGHC will be holding a virtual community information session on Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m.
HHR challenges are not unique to SBGHC, as the province is experiencing an overall shortage of nurses. SBGHC has already seen a reduction in services as a result of HHR challenges in September 2019 when the operating hours of the Chesley emergency department were reduced to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily due to a nursing staff shortage.
Despite significant efforts in the last two years to stabilize nursing staff resources, the HHR challenges have been compounded in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic as staff have been working tirelessly over the last 21 months, caring for our communities throughout the pandemic.
“We have had several close calls over the last six months where we were precariously close to having unplanned emergency department closures due to unfilled nursing shifts,” said Michael Barrett, SBGHC CEO. “It has to be emphasized that we have only been able to keep services open to date based on the good will and hard work of our front-line staff and managers, and this situation is not sustainable.”
SBGHC is facing significant staffing shortages over the holiday season, and these shortages will continue well into the new year. As a result, SBGHC is investigating service reductions to ensure that our level of service matches the level of staff which we have available.
To ensure that the communities served by SBGHC are aware of the challenges the hospital is facing, and the possibility that hospital services could be reduced, the virtual community information session was scheduled. It will be held via Zoom and Facebook Live. SBGHC board members, staff and hysicians will be on hand to answer questions and provide information to the community.
Connection information will be available on SBGHC’s website and social media accounts on the day of the event. The session will be recorded for those who are not able to attend.