65 Critical Care Nurses Write Letter to Premier over ICU Concerns

December 21, 2020

Treaty 1 Territory, Winnipeg MB—The Manitoba NDP is sharing a letter sent from critical care nurses at Health Sciences Centre to the Premier and his Health Minister urging him to abandon a KPMG-designed plan that creates unsafe nurse-to-patient ratios in acute care wards.

“Some of our health system’s most experienced nurses are urging this government to back off a dangerous plan that puts the bottom line before patient care. It’s another example of this Premier listening to consultants instead of front-line health care workers.” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “The pandemic changed everything—except Mr. Pallister and his government. These nurses are the real experts. It’s time the Premier and his cabinet listen to them.”

In November the Pallister government announced a “team-based” model of care in acute care units, designed by KPMG consultants. More than sixty nurses, many with decades of experience, from the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Health Sciences wrote a letter to the Health Minister urging him to abandon the plan. The plan increases nurse-to-patient ratios in from the standardized one-to-one to one-to-three or more. The government’s new model of care applies to all critical care wards, including those with COVID-19 patients.

“We've seen how this Health Minister reacts when health care workers share their concerns for patient safety—he accuses them of trying to cause chaos,” said NDP Health Critic Uzoma Asagwara. “Before the pandemic nurses were stretched to their limits because of this government’s health cuts. But even in a pandemic this government refused to change. Now nurses are being forced to take personal risk and speak out on behalf of their patients.”