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More staffing needed in Nova Scotia's nursing homes, union leaders tell government committee

The standing committee on health heard from union leaders on Tuesday that long term care is in crisis in Nova Scotia
long term care bed
Long term care bed / Stock photo

Union leaders representing long term care workers in Nova Scotia say staffing levels must increase in long term care.

Nurses' Union president Janet Hazelton told the government's standing committee on health on Tuesday that 4.1 hours of direct care is required to meet the needs of residents, a mark she says Nova Scotia falls short on. 

"There's not a child at the IWK who's waiting two hours to get fed," Hazelton said. "That wouldn't happen with our children, and it shouldn't happen with our seniors. They deserve our respect, they deserve our care and we need to step up as Nova Scotians and say it's time and if we have to pay a little more, then so be it."

Leaders from the major unions representing long term care workers, including the NSGEU, CUPE, Unifor and the Nursing Homes Association of Nova Scotia, told the committee that pay for long term care workers is not good enough. 

They say the sector is in a state of crisis, and was already prior to the pandemic. 

Nova Scotia's deputy health minister told the committee there are around 230 people in hospital waiting for placement in long term care, and about 1300 waiting in the community.

Mark Hodgins

About the Author: Mark Hodgins

Mark Hodgins is an Ontario-born Haligonian. A graduate of the Loyalist College journalism program, he’s been with NEWS 95.7 since 2016. Mark is a lover of sports, politics and video games.
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