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Health Care Conference - June 9-11, 2017
Published: 2017-07-17

Author: Carol Varey, Nicole Fielding

We had opening remarks from Katha Fortier - Assistant to the National President, Bob Orr – National Secretary Treasurer, Dr. Sean Meagher – Director of Canadian Doctors for Medicare. Shannon Devine gave a speech on Media 101.

There are 203 members' who attended this conference. This conference will now be annual. Come January 1st, 2019, Minimum wage will be $15.00 per hour.

Workplace violence is on the rise. There are many issues where extra fees are being charged for services and extra charges for medications. Patients are not getting the proper care because they must pay out of pocket, so they don't follow up, or the split medication doses in half for the meds to last longer.

They become sicker then then end up back in hospital. We pay 30% more for our medication in Canada compared to other countries.

We come in 2nd in the world. We must put political pressure towards our politicians to correct this wrong. You can start within your community and we have the back up from our Labour Union Movements. The fight is on for Universal public health care and Canada needs universal Pharmacare.

Long Term Residential Care is an international study of promising practices funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Presentation done by Pat Armstrong, research Professor in Sociology at York University Toronto has published books in the area of long term care, women's, health, social policy and social services.

She talked about what matters and why in design of LTC. Subjects were Staff Spaces Locations, Size and Spaces, features of home, food. Locks and Doors, Clothes, laundry cleaning and dying.

Main concerns resident focus

  1. Staff focus - happy staff, good resident care
  2. Staff concerns
  3. Improvement food & meal times
  4. Work load

Comment from folks in Norway: our ration for patient care is too high per worker and that Canadians work very hard in LTC. They could be compared to the workers on the oil rigs.

2nd workshop was concerning tainted blood. Speaker was Mike McCAthy – Co-founder of Bloodwatch.

He spoke against selling plasma. Private companies get blood donations – unscreened and sell it to the highest bidder. In 2013, vote in government 93-0 to ban this practice in Ontario. Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have started back up again. Concerned for public safety. Website : www.bloodwatch.org. June 11th is World Blood Donner Day.

3rd Workshop – Mental Health & Stress Bullying in Health Care Sector. Kelly Bondy, speaker. Union reviews : Mental Health , Mental Injury – not mental illness. Folks who have a clinical diagnosis can be healthy with treatment. Employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe working environment. Your Health & Safety team are the most powerful legally.

Need change you must create a paper trail to suggest recommendations. If the Employer blocks at Health & Safety level, call and report to the Ministry.

4th Workshop – Workplace Violence. Workplace violence makes nursing one of Canada's most dangerous professions. Improve training and education is a must.

Push for proper staffing levels. Report immediately to the Supervisor, inform co-workers, file incident reports give one to union rep. and Health & Safety committee.

You can file a grievance if the concerns are not adequately addressed, file workers comp claim, file complaint with Police if appropriate and you may file report with Human Rights.

If having to work alone, make sure phones, walkie talkie, alarm systems are in good repair. The Employer is responsible for the maintenance of equipment.

Canadian Health Coalition – spoke person was Adrienn Silniski CHC.

Unifor is one of the major financial contributors. With the Health Accord there are meetings – Federal, Provincial and territory – to set up National Standards for Health Care we need to support this organization to fight this battle.

National Drug Plan – There is a campaign to support National Pharma Care.

LTC must improve – It's poorly funded and in great need of minimum standards for care.

Nova Scotia – Their health care is in serious crisis. Government tried to split Union workers up, tried to take away the right to strike, no collective agreements renewed, mandates to freeze wages and concessions for 2 year period.

Fight is on to recognize that Housekeeping, Dietary, Maintenance Laundry workers are with the nursing staff to be part of the Health Team in Long Term Care. This is our fight. We must all support this so our Seniors have quality care to be happy, comfortable, safe, healthy physically and emotionally.

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