Cumberland Health prepared for Halifax nurses strike

Darrell Cole
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Day surgeries going forward, others requiring hospital stay being cancelled

The Cumberland Health Authority is ready to deal with more patients if nurses in Halifax go on strike.

The Cumberland Health Authority is ready to deal with more patients if nurses in Halifax go on strike. The health authority has been working to bring as many patients from Cumberland County back to the regional hospital in Upper Nappan.

AMHERST – The Cumberland Health Authority is taking steps to prepare in the event nurses in Halifax strike.

Health authority spokeswoman Ann Keddy said the CHA has been working with the Health Wellness to develop a provincial plan to address the scale back in services in the Capital District Health Authority.

“The first focus for us was to bring any Cumberland County patients who were in Capital back to this area for continued treatment,” Keddy said. “That, of course, only applies to those who were well enough to be transferred.”

Keddy said day surgeries are continuing to be performed at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre in Upper Nappan, but any surgeries that require a stay in hospital are being cancelled.

“As this is necessary, patients will be contacted directly,” she said. “We are also limiting any transfers to Capital unless it is critical, however, given our proximity to New Brunswick we are fortunate to have the option of transferring patients to Moncton.”

Keddy said every effort will be made to maintain existing service levels should a strike occur. Any impacts will be addressed as they arise.

Nurses, represented by the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union, and the Capital District Health Authority are at an impasse and the 2,400 health-care workers could be in a legal strike position as early as Thursday.

The provincial government is trying to bring essential services legislation through the legislature before then to prevent the strike from happening.

The sticking point between the union and the health authority is staff-to-patient ratios, which the union says is needed for patient safety. That would require Capital Health to hire more nurses.

Twitter: @ADNdarrell


Organizations: Cumberland Health Authority, Capital District Health Authority, Health Wellness Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre Nova Scotia Government Employees Union Capital Health

Geographic location: Halifax, Cumberland County, Upper Nappan New Brunswick Moncton

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