How do shortages of health science professionals impact the public?
Health care is more than just doctors and nurses. Shortages of specialized health science professionals like respiratory therapists, ultrasonographers, and physiotherapists, to name a few, are driving up waitlists and backlogs at alarming rates.
There simply aren’t enough workers to meet the growing demands on our public health care and community social services. More than 18,000 patients are now waiting for ultrasound tests, forcing one health authority to halt new routine testing.
If we don’t train and hire more health science professionals, waiting times will continue to grow and the level of care patients receive will continue to fall.
How do shortages of health science professionals impact workers?
Many members are already struggling with workloads that have reached dangerous levels.
Members are being forced to choose between compromising patient care and sacrificing their life outside of work. And when they are off work, they worry when there isn’t anyone there to take their place in caring for their patients.
Excessive workload is a serious source of professional and personal stress for members. If it isn’t addressed, we can expect work-related injuries and illnesses to rise, further impacting the quality of care for our patients.
How do I know if I have excessive workload?
Working through breaks, not taking vacation time, increased injuries or illnesses, unpaid overtime, inappropriate call-backs - these are all indicators that you may be experiencing a serious problem with excessive workload.
For some members, excessive workload has become so routine that you may not realize that something can be done.
Others are already struggling with workloads that have reached dangerous levels, being forced to cut corners or choose between compromising patient care and sacrificing their life outside of work.
Take the first step and complete the Workload Survey to find out.
How can HSA help me address workload issues?
Our labour relations experts can help you pressure your employer to stop ignoring the problem.
Take the first step and complete the Workload Survey.
If you are experiencing a problem with excessive workload, you’ll be prompted to share more details about your specific situation through the In-Depth Survey and to gather some evidence by printing and carrying a Tracking Card for two weeks.
Our labour relations experts will then be in touch to discuss how they can help you address this issue with your employer.
What is causing the shortages of health science professionals?
The shortages are largely the result of:
Too few health science professionals are being trained. There aren’t enough seats in training programs - especially outside of the lower mainland and other major urban centres.
Too many of those who are trained finding work out of province or moving into private practice because BC’s public health wages simply aren’t competitive.
The increase in the acuity of care not being met with a comparable increase in staffing levels.
The growing demand for public health care and community social services.