The Association encourages Premier Pallister to invest in health system

November 9, 2020

Dear Premier Pallister,

RE: The Association of Regulated Nurses of Manitoba encourages Premier to invest in health system

The Association of Regulated Nurses of Manitoba (Association) is calling on your government to act quickly to support nurses and invest in health system resources without delay.

Recently, the International Council of Nurses reported that approximately 1500 nurses have died from COVID-19 worldwide. Given the recent surge in cases in Manitoba, our members are incredibly concerned, not only for the safety of their patients and clients, but also for their personal health and safety and that of their families.

Nurses should be acknowledged as the health experts they are and included in the decision-making processes related to the COVID-19 response. Nurses are extremely troubled about the availability and accessibility of personal protective equipment (PPE). As highly educated healthcare providers, the professional judgement nurses use to determine their need for PPE must be trusted. We call on you to provide nurses with the tools they need, particularly PPE, to ensure they have a safe practice environment. We cannot ask our nurses to stand at the front of this fight and at the same time question their professional judgement.

It is our sincere hope that you will recognize the credibility of the concerns we’re sharing and take decisive action to provide additional resources to the health system across Manitoba. Other provinces have stepped up to make considerable investments in the health system, including additional nursing resources. Conversely, Manitoba has attempted to address an unprecedented health challenge within a system that was overburdened and under-resourced at the outset. Unfortunately, the impact is exactly what should have been expected: Winnipeg, the tertiary care centre for all Manitobans, has become one of the most dangerous COVID-19 hotspots in the country.

As case totals rise, outbreaks in a range of settings are pushing our province’s nurses to the limits of their capacity. While our system is under significant duress, there is still time to chart a different course. We continue to publicly and unreservedly support measures that help people understand and adhere to public health guidelines. However, while we wait to see results from these measures, we need to equip our nurses in all settings with the resources to do more now. To promote the health of Manitobans, we must bolster the resiliency of our health system and support Manitoba’s nurses.  

Sincerely,

     
Jennifer Dunsford RN MN
President
  Dr. Cheryl Cusack RN PhD 
Executive Director

       

CC: Honourable Cameron Friesen, Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living