ontario news watch

Patients going without care due to nursing shortage in Manitoba First Nation

OTTAWA — A First Nation in northern Manitoba says its nursing station is operating at half-capacity, and as a result members are going without the care they need.

Chief David Monias of the Crosslake Band says because his community is short some eight nurses, the station is mainly seeing emergency situations while patients with diseases like diabetes and hypertension are left without necessary care.

When those ailments become dire, patients are being flown to Winnipeg because the station isn’t equipped to handle the cases.

He says when the federal government does hire nurses to work in his community, some are flown to other First Nations or quit altogether because they burn out.

Government data shows that remote First Nations communities in Manitoba’s nursing stations were facing a 67 per cent operational vacancy last year, with others in Ontario not being much better off.

Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu says her department is trying to increase the amount of applicants in remote communities.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 14, 2024.

The Canadian Press