Pending nurses' strike taking its toll on patients
'I've been waiting forever,' says woman whose 18-month-long wait for a new hip drags on
With more than 200 surgeries cancelled this week in the Capital District Health Authority, patients are already feeling the impact of the impending nurses' strike.
"Our hands are tied," said 41-year-old single mom Jennie Raymond, who was scheduled for an operation on her Achilles tendon on Thursday.
"I was waiting a while for this," she said. "I wanted this done and behind me."
Raymond's operation was one of 208 cancelled because of the looming strike, which is expected to start on Thursday morning and last for 30 hours.
More than 2,400 nurses in the Capital District Health Authority will be in legal strike position as of 12:01 a.m. on Thursday.
Carolyn Grandy had been waiting a year and a half to see a specialist for a new hip.
"It seems like I've been waiting forever to get some help," said the 73-year-old woman, tears running down her face.
"[It's] like you're hanging in limbo, waiting for a better time," she added.
"I keep saying to my friends next year I'll be jogging and I'll be doing everything naturally, but it's a long time in between."
Despite the delay, both Raymond and Grandy sympathize with the nurses' struggles.
"The hospital isn't listening to us; the government's not listening to us," said Charlene Doucette, who was headed to the Halifax Infirmary on Wednesday evening to begin a 12-hour shift.
Because of the strike, she said she was unsure when she would be back to work.
"There's nothing more we can do," she said. "I just hope that the public will listen to us and support us."
The McNeil government introduced the Essential Health and Community Services Act earlier this week to stall a strike, but the back-to-work legislation will not come into effect until Friday at the earliest after the New Democratic Party stalled the fast-track process Tuesday night.