An unsafe working environment and toxic internal culture persists within health authorities. Health Authorities don't listen to frontline workers, even though they are the first to know when there is a problem in healthcare. Whistleblowers lack the protection they need to speak up about their experiences, and culture of silence leaves workers feeling hopeless about the dire hospital conditions. The Ministry of Health must address the internal culture in the system and do better by healthcare workers.
The BC Greens' plan for Building a new internal culture
Frontline workers are frequently the first to know if there’s an issue in healthcare delivery, and often have solutions based on their experience as healthcare professionals. Yet there is no connection between frontline workers and those with leadership positions at health authorities and the Ministry of Health to routinely communicate how the system is functioning and how systems can be improved. Healthcare leadership cannot continue to make decisions in a vacuum without the real-world information that only frontline workers possess.
Burnout leads to poorer healthcare delivery and outcomes, while the system itself loses healthcare providers in droves, often only one to three years into their careers.
Healthcare leadership needs to make frontline workers feel like they are the heroes they are. Celebrating their successes and addressing their challenges is critical to making employees feel acknowledged and appreciated in their work environment.
New ideas need to be embraced to make careers attractive and fulfilling. Healthcare leadership should work with employees to create the support structures they need: work-life balance, reasonable hours, mental healthcare, jobs in their own communities, etc.
By supporting healthcare workers’ wellbeing, we can improve retention and make BC a desirable place to work, while delivering better health outcomes for patients.
Authoritarianism, bullying, and coercion from healthcare leadership are common experiences for healthcare workers. This is utterly unacceptable. If health authority leadership cannot adapt to a more empathetic, caring approach, we need new leadership.
Remove all requirements for healthcare workers to discuss public communications with health authority communications departments. Healthcare workers should be permitted to freely and directly express their concerns regarding systematic issues that are so prevalent today and are resulting in a decreased quality of care for the British Columbians. We must start listening to those that provide care. Listen to what works, what does not, and allow our doctors and nurses to speak to their expertise and experiences.