An agreement signed today, Oct. 27, between health-care unions and the province will help ensure patients receive good care during an emergency by making it easier for health-care providers to go where they are most needed. The Good Neighbor Protocol confirms how health human resources will be shared across the province and how health-care providers will be compensated and protected while responding to an emergency that impacts the health-care system. The protocol will apply to workers from within the province, from other jurisdictions and to volunteers. “By developing and agreeing to this protocol, unions, health-care workers and district health authorities have demonstrated leadership and commitment to the health and well-being of Nova Scotians,” said Premier Darrell Dexter. “I feel confident that, in the case of an emergency, health-care workers will be able to provide a high level of care to Nova Scotians in every community across the province.” The protocol will be part of the province’s planning and response to the H1N1 influenza pandemic, and will be applicable during other declared emergencies. The signing of the protocol also fulfills one of the recommendations recently made by the auditor general in his report on pandemic planning in Nova Scotia released in July. “Having the right mix of health-care providers in the right place when we need them is the foundation of this agreement,” said Health Minister Maureen MacDonald. “The knowledge, skill and caring that health professionals bring to their jobs makes the difference in how patients and families feel about their experience with the system. It may also make a difference in how patients physically respond to the treatments and services they receive.” “I think what the health-care unions have done is wonderful,” said Rick Clarke, president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour. “They’ve shown tremendous leadership during a challenging time.” The agreement was signed by Premier Dexter, Ms. MacDonald, Mr. Clarke, Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union president Joan Jessome, Canadian Union of Public Employees president Danny Cavanagh, Nova Scotia Nurses Union president Janet Hazelton, Canadian Auto Workers Union national representative Susan Burrows, Canadian Union of Postal Workers national director, Atlantic region Jeff Callaghan, Service Employees International Union Local 902 business agent Gerard Higgins and International Union of Operating Engineers Local 727 president Dwayne Fitzgerald.
Good Neighbor Protocol to be Signed
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