The B.C. government has announced a program to help reduce violence against health-care workers at 26 hospitals and mental health facilities across the province. (Photo - The Canadian Press)
The B.C. government has announced a program to help reduce violence against health-care workers at 26 hospitals and mental health facilities across the province.
Health Minister Adrian Dix says 320 protection service officers and 14 people tasked with preventing violence will be hired to enhance the safety of nurses and other health-care staff as well as patients and the public.
He says that since the summer of 2021, over 4,400 reported incidents of violence have occurred, resulting in about $7 million in employee time-loss claims, but the impact on workers can't be quantified in dollars.
The BC Nurses Union has been calling for better protective measures for its members for at least 30 years.
Its president, Aman Grewal, says nurses are punched, kicked, grabbed and verbally and sexually harassed at increasingly dangerous workplaces, where injury rates are under-reported and higher than those affecting first responders.
Grewal says the stress and fear at work has been compounded due to staffing shortages as people lash out at nurses for everything from long wait-lists to cancelled surgeries.
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