Nurse burnout is becoming a significant problem in Brandon and southwest Manitoba due to a huge shortage of RNs, LPNs, Nurse Practitioners, and Registered Psychiatric Nurses. The Prairie Mountain Health Region has a vacancy rate of almost 15 percent. That means there are 278 positions currently unfilled.
“This severe shortage means nurses are doing more overtime and are subject to burnout and that will lead to more departures. If the NDP cannot find nurses to fill these positions the situation is destined to get worse,” said Health Critic Myrna Driedger.
In a seven month period between the beginning of April and the end of October last year, overtime for nurses and healthcare aids was nearly $5 million.
“That overtime comes with a cost and those who have to cover the hours won’t do it indefinitely,” added Driedger.
So far, the NDP solution has been to backfill with private nurses, many from out of province. This is not a long-term solution, but it seems the NDP don’t have one.