Nurses feel a freeze

The union representing nurses in Alberta says Alberta Health Services is reducing health-care delivery with a new review process for hiring staff.

The union representing nurses in Alberta says Alberta Health Services is reducing health-care delivery with a new review process for hiring staff.

Nurses are calling it a hiring freeze.

Jane Sustrik, second vice-president at United Nurses of Alberta, said in April there were between 1,400 and 1,500 registered nurse vacancies, from casual to full-time, in Alberta Health Services.

On of Friday, a total of 103 positions for registered nurses were advertised on the AHS website.

And any request by health-care managers to hire nurses will follow a lengthy route up to top administrators, she said.

“What I’ve been told is it takes a good part of 10 weeks, if not more, if it were to be approved,” Sustrik said on Friday.

In the meantime, patients and nurses will be under even more stress, she said.

“Everyone is walking on this tightrope of uncertainty,” Sustrik said on Friday. “Patients are going to wait longer to be seen.”

The union is filing grievances about the vacancies.

Bruce Conway, Alberta Health Services spokesperson, said it is incorrect to call the review a hiring freeze.

The review process was developed for Alberta’s new health-care structure that amalgamated all nine regional health boards to create the Alberta Health Services Board about 12 months ago.

“You will see more job postings as we move forward with this. But we’re a little slow as this whole new process gets rolling,” Conway said.

It’s all about making sure dollars are spent effectively and ensuring “you’re getting the right people in the right places,” he said.

“As of June 1, there’s a new mechanism in place for hiring where each of the jobs are scrutinized. The executive has to sign off on each of the hires.”

Sustrik said with an international nurse shortage, some nurses in Alberta may just give up and search for work in other provinces or countries.

Employment “angst” will be higher in smaller communities, especially where there is the fear of closure or changes in service delivery at local hospitals, she said.

“Certainly Red Deer would have less options and as you go out from there, the Ponokas and the Lacombes have even less.”

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Red Deer housing market remains flat

Six per cent drop in sales in April 2019 compared to April 2018

Alberta improv teams battle for crowd approval at Bull Skit Comedy fundraiser

Pies can be thrown Saturday, May 25, at Red Deer’s Scott Block Theatre

Beyond Meat burger not a threat for beef producers, say central Alberta ranchers

Referring to vegan or vegetarian alternative proteins as “meat” isn’t a concern,… Continue reading

Wind remains on firefighters’ side in bout with northern Alberta wildfire

HIGH LEVEL, Alta. — A government update says a lighter wind out… Continue reading

Central Alberta’s largest garage sale helps animals

VIP shopping night May 30 in Red Deer

Dogs and drugs don’t mix: Red Deer business wants to leave downtown after 18 years

One business owner is done with downtown Red Deer after 18 years.… Continue reading

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

WestJet pilot injured by green laser light while approaching Orlando airport

A WestJet pilot flying from Newfoundland to Orlando International Airport had his… Continue reading

Canada hires firm to ship back garbage, will be done before end of June: McKenna

OTTAWA — Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says the Canadian trash that has… Continue reading

Newfoundland man pleads not guilty in case of skeleton stolen from graveyard

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A young Newfoundland man pleaded not guilty Wednesday… Continue reading

Canadians increasingly worried over boomers’ health bills, survey finds

CHARLOTTETOWN — Canadians are increasingly concerned about how to pay for the… Continue reading

Gonzalez helps power Twins to 8-3 victory over Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Marwin Gonzalez keeps coming through for the Minnesota Twins.… Continue reading

Another athlete slams testosterone rules, refuses medication

NAIROBI, Kenya — Another Olympic medallist has criticized the IAAF’s testosterone regulations… Continue reading

Madonna perfects her off-key Eurovision act online

JERUSALEM — The Queen of Pop has cleaned up her act. After… Continue reading

Most Read