BC Hospital employers’ neglect of health and safety stresses patients and costs money, according to a provincial auditor’s report (PDF download).
The report, cited in an HEU press release, pays close attention to the rising number of long term disability claims for stress and other psychological illnesses.
Auditor general Wayne Strelioff writes, “Managements inadequate attention to work environment issues during a time of restructuring and downsizing has resulted in health care workersand even their patients and familiesfeeling the effects of workplace stresses.”
Strelioff points out that in some BC health authorities, almost one in three new claims against the long term disability insurance plan are mental health-related.
HEU spokesperson Chris Allnutt says the report indicts the provincial government’s attack on health care workers
“During the past three years, this government and their health authorities broke contracts, laid off thousands of workers, imposed massive wage cuts and taken other actions that signal to workers that they are an obstacle to – rather than a partner in – the delivery of quality health care,” he said.
“These attitudes need to change and we call on both the government and health authorities to heed the comments of the auditor general and deal with the chaos they’ve caused on health care’s front lines,” adds Allnutt.
Allnutt warned that contracting out means costs associated with poor health and safety practices will be hidden because they will no longer be on the health authorities’ books.
For more information, see AG report on healthy workplaces underlines failure of government health care agenda, says HEU.