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Nurses rally for change in Campbell River

North Island closures adding to the local hospital’s existing over-capacity issue
BC Nurses Union members and supporters attended a rally in Campbell River’s Spirit Square Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror

The BC Nurses Union held a rally in Campbell River Wednesday, Aug. 10 to show support for local nurses and raise awareness about the mounting pressure on the health care system.

The rally comes on the heels of multiple emergency department closures in several Vancouver Island communities.

Staff at Campbell River’s North Island Hospital have seen patient capacity levels soar as staffing shortages have temporarily closed ERs in Port McNeill, Port Hardy and Alert Bay, forcing people to travel elsewhere for care, the BCNU says.

RELATED: Critics say North Island ER closures symptom of larger problem

“We are asking the government, once again, to sit down at the table and come up with a plan that improves health care for North Island residents and supports nurses,” says BCNU vice president Adriane Gear. “There is a crisis unfolding in front of our eyes and our nurses are telling us how distressing it is to see the direct impact it’s having on patients, especially Indigenous populations who rely on culturally safe care.”

After the Campbell River rally, BCNU elected representatives traveled to Nanaimo the next day to speak to members at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, another Vancouver Island health care facility that’s “buckling under the increasing pressure due staffing shortages and overcapacity.”

RELATED: Horgan urges federal government to carry half the health-care load as premiers meet

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