UPDATE Surgeries cancelled at Valley Health due to Halifax nursing strike

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Annapolis Valley Health

Some elective surgeries have been cancelled at Annapolis Valley Health due to the strike of nursing staff at Capital Health.

Registered nurses from NSGEU Local 97 at Capital Health are off the job to protest legislation introduced by the Liberal government March 31 to guarantee essential care to Nova Scotians during a strike or lockout.

Read more coverage here.

According to a statement issued by Annapolis Valley Health April 1, the strike will impact the entire healthcare system in Nova Scotia. As a result, health authorities across the province, the Department of Health and Wellness and Emergency Health Services have been planning from a provincial standpoint. At the local level, AVH has been preparing for the impact the strike will have within the local health system.

Annapolis Valley Health public relations director Lesley Mulcahy said on April 1 that if strike action by NSGEU Local 97 registered nurses is still not resolved by the end of the week, as many as 26 elective surgeries in the Valley district could be cancelled.

This doesn’t include emergency surgeries, she added, only those that “would be considered safe for the patient to reschedule.” These are surgeries scheduled in advance that aren’t a medical emergency.

“Part of the reason for looking at cancelling elective surgeries is that we can free-up bed space if needed,” Mulcahy said.

Those elective surgeries cancelled to date would have required an overnight stay in hospital. She said any patients impacted would be contacted to have their elective procedures rescheduled.

AVH is also working with Capital Health to transfer any patients from this district back to the Valley where possible, the statement says. Mulachy said they aren’t sure how many patients will be transferred at this point. 

“As always, managing the use of our beds, the movement of patients and admissions and discharges is done hour to hour, day to day. It means keeping a close watch on our capacity – the beds we have available and our ongoing ability to provide as much care as possible within AVH,” the statement says. 

Mulachy said there isn’t any concern at this point about capacity being exceeded at Valley Regional Hospital in Kentville. However, this could change if there is a prolonged strike.

She said they manage bed use, patient movement and admissions and discharges on a day-to-day basis regardless. Annapolis Valley Health is also looking at how to help Capital Health if they have to transfer patients to other districts for care.

“We will continue to work with providers in the healthcare system to ensure that patients are cared for and we remain hopeful that the parties involved reach an agreement,” the statement said.

Updates regarding the labour situation can be found on the Capital Health website.


Organizations: Annapolis Valley Health, Capital Health, Department of Health and Wellness

Geographic location: Halifax, Nova Scotians, Nova Scotia

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