ns-si-cape-breton-hospital

In May the Cape Breton District Health Authority said it would have to eliminate 53 positions to deal with a $7.4-million budget cut. (CBC)

A staff shortage at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney has increased wait times for routine cardiac ultrasounds from two months to six months.

"We've been down by two technologists since June. We usually have a compliment of three in the department. We're now backed up to two so that's given us a backlog," said Cape Breton District Health Authority spokesperson Lynn Gilbert.

"What we have been doing since June is been getting the emergency cases and urgent cases through so we continue to do those. As well, we're working our way through the backlog now that we have two techs back in the department."

Gilbert said the health district is working on a plan to get qualified casual staff on the cardiac unit to reduce wait times.

The Cape Breton Regional Hospital does almost 400 cardiac ultrasounds a month.

The ultrasounds pick up heart abnormalities and monitors how well the heart is pumping blood

In May, the Cape Breton District Health Authority said it would have to eliminate 53 positions to deal with a $7.4-million budget cut.