Canadian doctors offer to pay nurses’ salaries

Seventeen Canadian surgeons are offering to pay the salaries of OR nurses at Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital in British Columbia — out of pocket.  
The surgeons’ offer comes on the heels of a decision by the Interior Health Authority to cut three full-time operating-room nurse positions this week, a decision, the surgeons say, that threatens the hospital’s ability to provide adequate care to the residents of the Kootenay-Boundary region, which shares a border with the US.  “”In order to save things, we are willing to go this far,” anesthesiologist Ian Grant said in an interview with The Globe and Mail. 

The doctors insist the move is not an act of charity.  Without the nurses, one of the facility’s four operating rooms will be forced to close, leading to increased patient waiting times.  The doctors’ bottom line would be affected as well:  “Orthopedic surgeons and anesthesiologists, for example, would increase their revenues if they paid nurses to stay on staff,” Dr. Grant said.

No word yet on whether the Interior Health Authority will accept the proposed plan.

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