Proposed Registry changes miss the mark, says HEU

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HEU says a change to the care aide registry proposed by the B.C. Ministry of Health could lead to added costs for care aides, while ignoring the challenging caring conditions that exist on the front lines of health care.

The health ministry today released a discussion paper outlining their intention to move the existing B.C. Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry from oversight by health employers and unions, to a yet-to-be-established nursing college.

The Ministry has invited feedback from stakeholders on their discussion paper until next February, after which they will consider their next steps.

HEU secretary-business manager Jennifer Whiteside says that the proposed change would transfer the costs of regulation from employers and unions to individual care aides and community health workers.

“The current registry model is intended to address incidents of abuse, and does so very effectively,” she says.

“However, we are concerned the proposed model could hold individual care aides and community health workers responsible for a wide range of systemic, quality of care issues over which they have no control,” says Whiteside.

The current registry was established by the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with health unions and employers in 2010, to provide a fair investigation process at no cost to care aides, along with a standardized training curriculum.

Whiteside says the union will make its concerns clear to the Ministry of Health, while continuing to pressure government to deal with the current staffing crisis in seniors’ care – where four out of five facilities do not have the funding to meet the ministry’s own minimum staffing guidelines.