Health cuts should come from top

NANAIMO – All health-care workers struggle through their shifts trying to keep their patients safe.

To the Editor,

I wonder if any medical administrator in the Vancouver Island Health Authority really cares about the ‘true’ bottom line.

I am in the stepdown unit on Floor 3 of Nanaimo Regional General Hospital after six days post-op from major surgery.

Since a diagnosis of colorectal cancer in June 2004, the third-floor staff have been like extended family.

I was also a perinatal registered nurse at NRGH from 1975 to 2010 when health issues forced me to retire.

In the past nine years, I have spent 149 nights as a patient on Floor 3, watching the intelligent, caring, dedicated employees become more frustrated with staffing levels.

I am so sick of ‘higher ups’ sitting in their offices with their huge wages making ludicrous decisions for the sake of money.

I worked in the system for 35 years and was a dedicated nurse who fought for her patients’ rights – just as the nurses are doing again now.

We fought to get safe patient-to-nurse ratios and won. Why is the fight on again?

Where VIHA needs to cut is at the top levels and keep RNs on the front lines.

Administration invites staff to attend meetings, but only to say they had staff input. But it’s not input if you’re not listened to.

I am in no fear of losing my job by speaking out. Cancer took my career, but not my voice.

I am so frustrated for the wonderful RNs and all health-care workers struggling through their shifts trying to keep their patients safe.

Sheryl Elgie

retired RN