PEI

Nursing shortage at KCMH a 'crisis,' says PC MLA Cory Deagle

In question period Wednesday, PC MLA Cory Deagle said he's heard first-hand from nurses at King's County Memorial Hospital who said they are overworked.

Health minister says recruitment underway

PC MLA Cory Deagle said he's heard from nurses at Kings County Memorial Hospital who are overworked and frustrated. (Legislative Assembly of P.E.I. )

PC backbench MLA Cory Deagle is questioning his own government about nursing shortages in Kings County.

In question period Wednesday, Deagle said he's heard first-hand from nurses at King's County Memorial Hospital who said they are overworked.

"They are exhausted, and they are becoming very frustrated. They figure that approximately 22 nurses have quit over the past two years alone," Deagle said. 

Deagle said nurses have told him they're being asked to work overtime to avoid emergency department closures.

He called the situation a "crisis for health care in Kings County," and questioned Health Minister James Aylward on the reasons for the high turnover rate, and what's being done to address the issue. 

Active recruitment efforts 

Aylward said there are a number of factors that contribute to the turnover rate, including nurses being recruited to other regions and to private health-care facilities. 

Aylward said there are pressures on health care throughout the province, and that there are active recruitment efforts underway. 

Health Minister James Aylward said he plans to reach out to staff at Kings County Memorial Hospital to determine 'what supports we need to put in place to resolve any potential issues that may be there.' (Al MacCormick/CBC )

"I'm very confident that in very short order those positions will be filled," Aylward said. 

He said there have been 56 registered nurses recruited to Health PEI in the last several months.

After hearing the concerns brought forward by Deagle, Aylward said he plans to reach out to management and staff at KCMH "to see exactly where the pressure points are, and what supports we need to put in place to resolve any potential issues that may be there."

More P.E.I. news

With files from Kerry Campbell

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