Honourable Adrian Dix, MLA Minister of Health
Room 337, Parliament Buildings Victoria, B.C., V8V 2L8
July 18, 2023
Dear Minister Dix,
I write to you today on behalf of my constituents in Skeena regarding staff resignations at the Kitimat General Hospital (KGH) and Mills Memorial Hospital (MMH) in Terrace.
On July 7, 2023, a public letter was issued stating the emergency department at KGH will “need to declare time-specific service interruptions for the Emergency Department [ED] and diversion of emergency patients to MMH ED, particularly during night-time, starting towards the end of July.”
This is very concerning as MMH is already facing major staffing issues, and during the soon-to-come closures, patients needing emergency care will likely face extensive wait times.
As the situation at both Kitimat General and Mills Memorial becomes more dangerous and stressful by the day, I am restating my concern about the lack of action towards one of the biggest complaints coming from our healthcare workers, which is workplace toxicity.
I have talked about this in the Legislature as I was getting these concerns relayed to me through anonymous texts. The simple fact that these healthcare workers want to remain anonymous because of fear of negative repercussions only compounds this dangerous situation that has been unfolding for at least the last year as far as I am aware.
This is significant, as we have heard from employees at KGH and MMH about the toxic environment and the major concerns they’ve had over the management of their hospital. This begs the question as to why there are staffing shortages. Are staff leaving because of toxic workplace conditions? What is happening at these hospitals that we do not know about?
While I keep asking these questions that matter to my constituents, I am frequently referred to the Northern Health Authority, but I would like answers from you, Minister. I want to know if you are aware of the state of healthcare in Skeena and will address reports of growing toxicity in the workplace that may be contributing to staffing shortages. I also want to know that you will ensure my constituents have access to the healthcare that they deserve.
I am also requesting that you conduct a review or audit into these allegations to confirm finally if toxicity is indeed an issue. I will add that any review contemplated be done in a manner that protects healthcare workers from any repercussions so they can speak freely.
I look forward to your prompt response.
Ellis Ross MLA, Skeena