Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Nursing stations to stay open

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WINNIPEG -- Canada's health minister says no nursing stations in northern Manitoba will close, just days after Health Canada said some clinics may have to shut their doors if it can't find more nurses willing to work there.

The nursing stations are on the front lines of a severe flu outbreak that has seen dozens of people from the province's northern reserves airlifted and hospitalized with severe flu symptoms, including H1N1.

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Leona Aglukkaq was asked Friday to guarantee the survival of these nursing stations in the House of Commons.

"I want to be very clear to the House that we will not close nursing stations in Manitoba," she told the House. "The facts were misrepresented."

Her comments come after Health Canada issued a tender for contract nurses, saying some of the province's 24 northern nursing stations could be in danger of closing without adequate staff.

"Health Canada is having great difficulty recruiting and retaining employed nurses in the nursing stations and two federal hospitals located in northern Manitoba on reserves," the tender stated.

"Without adequate service, the nursing stations and hospitals may have to close for periods of time, which could result in severe medical liability."

The department said the tender was part of a regular contract process to provide nursing care in northern Manitoba and the "level of nursing services is not at risk."

 

-- The Canadian Press

 

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 13, 2009 A4

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