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Why it is so hard for those who make decisions about health care to understand changes are needed? Every minister of health over the last 35 years has advertised for physicians to come to P.E.I. All decisions are made among a few men in a boardroom. Yet, there is still a shortage of physicians and over 3,000 people without one. We need them to join the rest of the "Apprentice Shippers" to fill the need.
In almost every other field of work in P.E.I., if there is a shortage of workers, they start education classes. Registered nurses (RNs) have a long history of apprenticeship. Nurse's aides became LNAs (licenced nursing assistants) in the 1960s. Females went through the apprenticeship program and in return the LNAs worked a year for the institution who financially supported them. It was not long before orderlies also became LNAs. Now LPNs with greater education have taken over some of what were the registered nurse's responsibilities. Resident care workers were trained and took over some of the LNAs responsibility.
Several years ago, there was great controversy over nurse practitioners (NP). Yet, in 2019, they are working out well and filling a space that badly needed them. I, for one, do not want to go to a clinic or emergency and wait hours for a doctor. I would see the nurse practitioner in heartbeat.
Do politicians and the medical society think they know more than these front-line workers? The people working the front lines would have invaluable information but are not included in the boardroom discussions. Politicians and physicians need to get out of the boardroom and listen. Federal and provincial politicians and medical societies need to do is set up apprenticeship programs all over Canada.
Flora J. Thompson,