Keep our nurses safe

Everyone should be safe at work and Linda Silas, President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions has launched a petition to try and ensure nurses are safe on the job.

Doug Eyolfson, Member of Parliament for Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley, has sponsored the petition which calls upon the Minister of Health to develop a pan-Canadian prevention strategy to address growing incidents of violence against health care workers.

National data shows that the number of violence-related injuries for frontline health care workers increased by close to 66 per cent from 2006-15, and 61 per cent of nurses recently experienced a serious problem with some form of violence over a 12-month period.

“From St. John’s to Victoria, nurses and frontline health care workers go to work every day knowing they may be verbally or physically assaulted,” said Silas. “Individual workplaces have been tackling this crisis in isolation, but we need a pan-Canadian strategy to bring governments, employers, unions and frontline workers together to finally put a stop to violence in health care.”

Eyolfson, who worked as an emergency room doctor in Winnipeg for 20 years, has first-hand experience of the violence health care workers face, having himself been assaulted on two occasions.

“Violence in any occupational setting is unacceptable and should never be considered part of the job,” said Eyolfson. “For years, health care workers have been dealing with violent incidents, and the recent sharp increase in such incidents is reaching crisis proportions.”

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