Auditor General Carol Bellringer has announced that Northern Health has not been able to meet the requirements of recruiting registered nurses. This shortage of trained nurses has led to diminished healthcare service at a primary level in Northern British Colombia.
Thousands of patients are going through safety risks because of lack of appropriate medical care. Bellringer’s office is in-charge of recruiting nurse practitioners and registered nurses in the remote areas of Northern Health Authority. Most of the Northern region except Prince George falls under the rural category.
There has been a 4% decrease in the number of positions which are considered difficult to fill. They are called so because they remain open for more than 90 days. However, the total number of postings for nursing jobs are still the same as last year.
At present there is a shortage of 121 registered nurses. This has led to an increase in patient wait times and lack of nurses in certain shifts. Nurse practitioners play a very important role in providing medical care in the remote communities of BC. They order tests and prescribe medication and essentially serve as main health authorities at the medical facilities.
The Vice-president of BC’s labor organization, Christine Sorenson states that
“We have a difficulty with all of the rural and remote sites across British Columbia – not only retaining nurses in those communities but also recruiting nurses.” , “There’s a nursing shortage everywhere.”