How should B.C. deal with a shortage of specialty nurses?
Vancouver Coastal Health did have a plan.
They were going to give operating room nurses at Vancouver General Hospital a $5/hour premium.
But after pushback from other nurses and the Health Employers’ Association, that deal has been scrapped.
VCH spokesperson Gavin Wilson says it might take an arbitration panel to resolve the nurse shortage problem.
“It’s been advised by the Health Employers’ Association, that it would be a better approach to take to this particular issue, to look at the issue from a broader perspective, instead of the perspective of one hospital’s operating room.”
Wilson explains why Vancouver’s operating room has 35 vacancies.
“They perform more organ transplants than any other hospital and that means they have to spend many hours on call and being called back to do work, because you can’t predict when an organ transplant needs to be done. It is also B.C.’s only credited level one trauma centre.”
Some nurses didn’t feel the pay premium was fair.
At VGH, 300 surgeries have been cancelled in the last six months because there aren’t enough operating room nurses available.