Registered nurse cuts in addictions 'unbelievable'

Cuts to the number of registered nurses at P.E.I.'s Provincial Addictions facility in Mount Herbert are coming at a bad time, says the P.E.I. Nurses Union.

More health workers now on staff, Health PEI argues

Cuts to the number of registered nurses at P.E.I.'s Provincial Addictions facility in Mount Herbert are coming at a bad time, says the P.E.I. Nurses Union.

Cutting registered nurses in addictions treatment is a bad idea, says Mona O'Shea, president of the P.E.I. Nurses Union

Under the province's new Model of Care, registered nurses are being moved and replaced with more licensed practical nurses and resident care workers. The registered nurses are moved to other positions in the health care system.

The latest shuffle is seeing RNs cut from the addictions facility and Prince County Hospital in Summerside.

Nurses Union president Mona O'Shea told CBC News her union finds the news of the latest RN cuts shocking in light of government's recent focus on improving mental health and addictions services in the province.

"To me at this crucial time in our environment when mental health is number one for our government," said O'Shea.

It's unbelievable to think that they are reducing the current number of registered nurses, which just doesn't make sense to us."

Patients will see more health care workers under the new model of care, says Health PEI innovation executive director Rick Adams. (CBC)

Rick Adams, executive director of innovation at Health PEI, acknowledges the cuts, but said that under the new model patients will see more health care workers on the job.

"The positions at [Prince County Hospital], there is a reduction in RN positions of 2.4. That is full time equivalent positions. And at the treatment facility it's 2.1," said Adams.

"So overall between the two facilities the reduction in RN positions is 4.5. But the addition to LPNs across the two facilities is 5.7 and in patient care, resident care worker, positions the increase is 5.5."

The government maintains that the new model of care provides better care for patients. The Nurses Union believes cutting the number of registered nurses is purely a cost saving measure.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.