Politician calls for resignation of N.S. health board CEO over nurse discipline

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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FREEPORT, N.S. - A Nova Scotia politician is demanding the resignation of the head of South West Health over an alleged attempt to discipline a nurse practitioner.
Harold (Junior) Theriault said at a public meeting Saturday that Blaise MacNeil must step down as CEO of the health authority because of the controversy surrounding registered nurse Karen Snider.
The Liberal member of the legislature for Digby-Annapolis also said Health Minister Maureen MacDonald needs to be on Long Island by Monday evening to deal with Snider and put her back to work.
Neither MacNeil nor MacDonald were available for comment.
Snider lives in Freeport, on Long Island, but hasn't been employed by the South West Health since October. She's the first nurse practitioner to put down roots in the area.
Andy Moir of the local health liaison committee said there was no problem with Snider's clinical or medical skills.
"We know that she was disciplined for speaking out about reduced hours at the clinic," he said.
"She was disciplined again for telling her collaborating physician that hours would be reduced, and disciplined again for discussing the hours of operation with fellow nurse practitioners. . . . We are all going to suffer because of this action."
Snider attended Saturday's meeting and, for the first time since she was dismissed, spoke briefly.
"I enjoy this community. I enjoyed the work that I did and the people that I worked with," she told a hushed room.
"I can't speak highly enough of the support and the confidence that all of you have exhibited to me. It's still my goal to want to try and stay down here . . . and I really do appreciate all of the efforts."
Theriault said some in the community told him that Snider was overwhelmed with work at the clinic.
"In the middle of September, I had some calls . . . saying, 'The nurse practitioner needs a little help down here. She can't deal with 1,500 people and do (the clerical employee's) work too,"' he said.
He said he mentioned the concern in the legislature on Sept. 22 and the health minister said she was unaware of any such needs.

Organizations: N.S. health board, South West Health

Geographic location: FREEPORT, Long Island, Nova Scotia

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