Socialist medicine in decline: One quarter of all Canadian nurses say they wouldn't recommend their own hospitals

Monday, April 29, 2013 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: socialized medicine, patient care, Canada

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(NaturalNews) The working conditions, quality of care being provided, cleanliness, and overall operating procedures at Canada's thousands of government-run healthcare facilities appear to be in major need of reform, according to the findings of a new investigative survey. As reported by Canada's CBC News, roughly one-quarter of all registered nurses (RNs) now say they would not even recommend their own hospitals to family and friends, illustrating what some believe are the telltale signs of the decline of socialized medicine.

Compiled as part of CBC's flagship investigative show the fifth estate, the survey asked more than 4,500 RNs from at least 257 hospitals throughout Canada to rate various aspects of their practice. Availability of resources, quality of care, number of staff, and degree of cleanliness are among the many issues the nurses were asked to consider and evaluate as part of their collective response to the survey.

Upon evaluation, it was determined that a considerable number of Canadian RNs are dissatisfied with their hospitals' performance levels. A shocking 24 percent of RNs, it turns out, expressed the fact that they definitely would not or probably would not recommend their hospitals to friends, family members, and other loved ones, which some healthcare organizations are concerned speaks volumes about the serious problems inherent in Canada's healthcare model.

"I'm very disappointed that nurses can't recommend their facilities, the places where they work, to their loved ones," said Ontario Nurses' Association vice-president Andy Summers, as quoted by CBC News. "When they look around them and they realize that they couldn't recommend that facility, it tells me that they're recognizing how dire their practice is."

Not enough staff members to go around

The biggest gripe among healthcare workers in Canada appears to be lack of staff, which is resulting in burnout for many of those who work long, faithful hours to keep their hospitals operating up to even minimal standards. Roughly 60 percent of all nurses who responded to the survey indicated that their hospitals simply do not have enough staff members, which prevents them from doing their own jobs safely and effectively.

"There is clear, clear evidence that short staffing has negative impact on patient outcomes, as well as nurses' health," says Judith Ritchie, Associate Director of Nursing at Canada's McGill University Health Centre.

As it turns out, staffing issues appear to be the number one issue with Canadian hospitals, even though there are more than enough nurses available to work in many regions of Canada. The problem? Not enough government funding to go around, and a system of control that prevents the free market from determining appropriate staffing levels and quality of care.

"Just recently I met a new graduating class of nurses - 125 of them - and none of them had jobs," explained Linda Silas, President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, to CBC News. "I just had to shake my head because we know the system is short. We're working on overtime. That's what's keeping our system alive."

The end result of these and various other shortfalls, of course, is filthy hospitals, decreased quality of care, and dismal patient safety. Lack of staff is also increasing the amount of time patients have to wait to receive care, including critical care procedures that need to be addressed with prudence. Those needing more urgent care services often have to travel to other countries like the U.S. to receive it, which further illustrates the inherent failure of the socialized healthcare model.

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