ANTIGONISH – Karen MacKenzie, president of CUPE 2525 and a diagnostic imaging technologist, says the Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority (GASHA) should have acted sooner and worked harder to avoid a closure of the X-Ray department at St. Martha’s Hospital in Antigonish, N.S.
The x-Ray department closed this weekend because there were no x-ray diagnostic services at St. Martha’s, the area’s main hospital, from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday. Patients had to make their way to the hospital in Pictou for any ailments that required an x-ray.
”They are playing Russian roulette with the lives of Nova Scotians”, says MacKenzie. “What if there had been a motor vehicle accident and they had to go the extra 40 minutes to the hospital in Pictou? The public deserves better service than this.”
MacKenzie adds, “if (GASHA) really wanted to keep the x-ray department staffed and open, they could have. There are ways to put staffing in place but it requires organization and money. They are not willing to do it. They are putting saving money ahead of saving people’s lives. This has got to stop.”
MacKenzie says front-line staff have been telling the Minister of Health for five years about shortages in the diagnostic department, but have been consistently ignored. “I want to know what steps they have been taking to solve this crisis? We haven’t seen any recruitment action, and there have been no postings on health care internet sites.
“It seems as if the government wants to starve the public system of the human resources needed, then point to that very system and say it doesn’t work, paving the road for private health care,” says CUPE NS president Danny Cavanagh. “That is unacceptable to the Canadian Union of Public Employees.”
CUPE Local 2525
CUPE Nova Scotia