Province criticized for eliminating burn nurse at HSC


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The Manitoba Firefighters Burn Fund is objecting to a decision by the province to axe a burn nurse clinical specialist from Health Sciences Centre as part of reducing health-care costs.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 24/07/2017 (1963 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The Manitoba Firefighters Burn Fund is objecting to a decision by the province to axe a burn nurse clinical specialist from Health Sciences Centre as part of reducing health-care costs.

Burn fund chairman Martin Johnson said the nurse has confirmed her position is being terminated. Johnson’s pleas to Winnipeg Regional Health Authority officials to revisit the decision were rejected.

“They’re not going to reverse their decision,” Johnson said Sunday. “The answer came back ‘no’. As far as I understand, it’s final. They felt patient care wouldn’t suffer.

“It’s one of those cuts that just doesn’t seem to have any rhyme or reason.”

Johnson said the position was established more than a decade ago, and originally the cost of the clinical nurse ($50,000) was split between the province and the burn fund, a volunteer-run charitable organization supported by members of fire services throughout the province.

The province took over full funding, Johnson said, “because they realized the value of it.”

The clinical nurse is responsible for, among other bedside duties, social interaction with families and patients, researching to improve care practices and telecommunication with remote constituencies “where lots of patients come from,” Johnson said. Those communications could be with nursing staff, patients or family members.

Johnson said he has been told by WRHA officials the duties would be added to those already provided by other caregivers on the burn unit staff at HSC and children’s intensive care units.

He was skeptical. “Some of the things this person did I don’t believe will be carried on,” he said. “It (the work) will be allocated to a person who’s already got a full-time job. I don’t believe they can do both jobs in a 37- or 40-hour week.”

Johnson wouldn’t release the name of the nurse involved, but noted she is “very disappointed. She was totally committed to what she was doing.”

A WRHA spokeswoman said in an email the authority has had to “make some difficult decisions” in order to balance its budget.

“HSC has identified overlap in the roles of their (clinical nurse specialist), in different programs, and the specialist in wound and skin care will assume a greater role with burn patients,” the email said.

“Burn care provided at HSC Winnipeg is based on national standards, which staff follow and will continue to provide to patients.”

NDP spokeswoman Rachel Morgan said the cutting of the clinical nurse “is a terrible blow to an organization that is critically important to burn patients who have already suffered unbearably.

“It’s an another example of the Pallister government putting cuts before patients. And it further breaks the premier’s promise to protect front-line services.”

Twitter: @randyturner15

Randy Turner

Randy Turner

Randy Turner spent much of his journalistic career on the road. A lot of roads. Dirt roads, snow-packed roads, U.S. interstates and foreign highways. In other words, he got a lot of kilometres on the odometer, if you know what we mean.

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