The PEI Nurses Union expressed concerns following the resignation of Dr. Michael Gardam, CEO of Health PEI. Our Union has been working together with Health PEI to address issues that impact nursing such as staffing shortages, ER and ICU closures, workloads, violence in the workplace, leadership and decision-making.
We appreciate Dr. Gardam’s transparency and leadership in addressing these issues and engaging with PEINU members and Islanders. Under his guidance, several member concerns have been validated, and there appears to be more transparency regarding future goals.
Health PEI, under Dr. Gardam’s leadership, has conducted a system-wide assessment of its operations and staffing, paving the way for data-based decisions – a crucial step that has been lacking in the past. While some decisions have been met with concern, we must acknowledge that maintaining the status quo is not a viable option. Evidence-based decisions are imperative to address the core issues within our healthcare system and improve patient care.
However, frequent changes to our health leadership, including the resignation of the Health PEI board in 2018 and Derek Key more recently, highlight structural concerns. This leadership change will inevitably result in a transition period that could further delay the implementation of initiatives needed to address challenges within our healthcare system. We urge the Minister of Health and Wellness, the Health PEI Board and Health PEI to prioritize resolving structural issues and ensure sustainable leadership and accountability. Collaboration with the PEINU is vital in overcoming challenges and delivering quality care to Islanders.
Our members are critical in the delivery of healthcare, and their expertise and well-being must remain central to any decision-making process. Moving forward, PEINU remains dedicated to fostering a positive and constructive dialogue with all stakeholders to find solutions that address our members’ concerns and, ultimately, benefit the patients and communities we serve.
In conclusion, we extend best wishes to Dr. Gardam and emphasize PEINU’s commitment to championing our valued members. Together, we strive for a strong, sustainable healthcare system prioritizing nurses and patients.
President, Prince Edward Island Nurses’ Union