HEU welcomes NDP health funding announcement with enthusiasm

News release

LPNs, Care Aide utilization part of progressive strategy

The Hospital Employees’ Union is enthusiastically welcoming today’s announcement by the NDP of significant new funding for progressive health action plan initiatives designed to improve health care services for British Columbians and fight against two-tier health care.

“These are concrete solutions that will help get our public Medicare system firing on all cylinders,” says union spokesperson Chris Allnutt. “These announcements are a breath of fresh air after the recent federal election in which Jean Chretien and Stockwell Day were all talk but no action about modernizing Medicare and protecting it against privatization. These NDP initiatives will do just that.”

Allnutt says the strategy to deal with the nursing shortage outlined today is broad-based and includes new opportunities for Licensed Practical Nurses and other HEU nursing staff.

“These are very positive,” Allnutt says. “And combined with the announcement of 2000 more long-term care beds along with $32 million in new funding for home support, these initiatives will significantly improve care services for our seniors and our disabled.

“It will also reduce pressures on acute care hospitals by providing better care in a more appropriate setting.”

On the nursing strategy initiative, Allnutt says that HEU is holding a special, two-day nursing team conference starting tomorrow. He expects HEU Licensed Practical Nurse and Care Aide activists will work to develop concrete proposals for health employers to implement and to bring more nurses on-stream and ease the nursing shortage.