Campbell Liberal policies contribute to anxiety and depression on health care’s front lines

News release

With Gordon Campbell scheduled to speak today at a Vancouver conference on depression and anxiety disorders in the workplace, the Hospital Employees’ Union is challenging the Premier to rethink government policies that are heightening stress levels on the front lines of B.C.’s health care system.

The union says there’s clear evidence from other jurisdictions that rapid organizational change and downsizing cause significant increases in depression, anxiety, emotional exhaustion and job insecurity among health care workers and deterioration in the quality of patient care.

“There’s no question that the factors that underlie mental health disorders are complex,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. “But to be quite frank, the policies of the Liberal government are directly responsible for heightened levels of anxiety and depression in health care workplaces.

“Thousands of women and men on health care’s front lines were promised that their work would be valued and their contracts respected by a premier who went on to tear up their collective agreement and begin a massive health privatization campaign.

“Health care workers have less job security, less control over their work and less support in the workplace than ever before,” adds Allnutt. “Workers’ physical and emotional well-being have been sacrificed for reckless policies that won’t improve patient care.”

-30- Contact: Mike Old, 604-828-6771 (cell)