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Our take: VIHA's board needs a new, caring attitude
VIHA preaches open consultation, but it has left nurses praying for a review of its new patient-care model.
RNs handed 4,000-some petition names to Vancouver Island Health Authority's board during Wednesday's Duncan visit.
Union issues aside, VIHA leaders should listen to RN demands that the Care Delivery Model Redesign be curbed and reviewed to ensure patient safety.
Nurses believe VIHA's agenda is saving money through a team approach — care aides do routine, bedside work with patients while highly-trained RNs plan and supervise care aides, and licensed practical nurses.
Sounds fine in theory, but nurses claim jobs will be lost, and patients will suffer as issues such as bed sores and more go unnoticed.
They may be right, given VIHA's track record based on bean counting, not input from workers, families and patients.
That was seen during Cowichan Lodge's sudden closure in 2008 — to the shock of families, senior residents, and staff.
VIHA's now tying to rebuild its trust locally while making a new Cowichan District Hospital its top priority.
That's cold comfort to nurses seemingly given short shrift by VIHA's board.
It appeared to indicate the new care model — developed secretly, say RNs — is a done deal, despite those 4,000 names.
The board rarely visits Cowichan, but foolishly declined to extend Wednesday's meeting to allow more public input.
VIHA brass should remember the public pays its board, and all its staff. Taxpayers also own facilities such as CDH.
VIHA works for us — it's not a corporation free to impose its will to balance the books at any cost.
By the board's seeming arrogance Wednesday, it appeared budgets, not public trust, are VIHA's top priority.