Tag: N.L

N.L. creating new daycare spaces for health professionals with irregular hours

A man stands at a podium in front of three banners. A large statue of Buzz Lightyear as tall as the room itself stands in the background.
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey announced Thursday that the government is partnering with the YMCA to create 160 new child-care spaces for health-care professionals in St. John’s, Bonavista and Corner Brook. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

The Newfoundland and Labrador government is partnering with the YMCA to create new daycare spaces exclusively for health-care professionals with hours outside the standard workday.

The province will open around 160 new $10-per-day spaces in at a new building on St. Michael’s Avenue in St. John’s, Discovery Collegiate in Bonavista and Eastside Elementary in Corner Brook. The spaces should be ready in the next six months and will have hours that meet the needs of medical professionals, said Premier Andrew Furey at an announcement Thursday.

“Your job often starts at 7 a.m. May end at four, may not end at four,” said Furey, who is also an orthopedic surgeon.

“That creates significant child-care issues.… I’ve seen nurses scrambling in the background scrambling being scrubbed, calling out their friends to try and arrange child care for them, and an initiative like this will actually go a long, long way to provide certainty to the hard-working women and men in the system.”

Furey said the program’s longer-term goal is to provide 24/7 child-care options for those who work varying shifts, adding it could attract more nurses and other medical professionals to the province.

“What we are hearing, loud and clear across all medical disciplines, is what people want the most is the professional-personal balance. And this will unlock that for them,” he said.

A woman with brown hair and glasses stands in front of a banner for the YMCA.
Registered Nurses’ Union of Newfoundland and Labrador president Yvette Coffey says health-care professionals are in desperate need of child-care spaces. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

The announcement comes after nearly 2,000 health-care workers were surveyed about their child-care needs. Yvette Coffey, president of the Registered Nurses’ Union of

N.L. takes bite out of denture expenses by boosting budget

A denturist works on a set of fake teeth.
The maximum payable amount per standard denture is now $900 in Newfoundland and Labrador, an increase of $150. (Bruce Tilley/CBC)

Newfoundland and Labrador’s Health Department has increased the budget and the maximum payable amount in its adult denture program.

The changes, announced Wednesday, take effect immediately, with a 20 per cent increase to the dentures budget, from $700,000 to $840,000.

In a statement, the department called it a recognition of the importance of good oral health for a person’s self-esteem and overall health.

Further increases were added to the maximum payable amount, which is now $900 instead of $750 per standard denture.

Partial dentures got an increase to $600 from $503.

The maximum annual cap increase has gone from $1,500 to $1,800. 

The provincial adult denture program was implemented in January 2012, with last change to fees happening in 2015. 

In an email to CBC News, the Newfoundland and Labrador Dental Association said the increases help maintain the sustainability of the program, not only for patients but also for dental professionals and the government.

“People’s oral health is crucial to their overall health so we are always in support of increases to access to care for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians,” says the statement.

The Health Department said there have been significant cost increases for providing dentures since, with no reciprocal increase.

Changes requested by denturists’ association

The Denturist Association of Newfoundland and Labrador requested the increase in the denture budget to allow an increase of maximum payable amount for dentures. The dental association said it supported that request from Day 1.

“There hasn’t been an increase in a number of years … so it was time that it had to be re-evaluated and the government did so,” says the statement.

Only people between 19 and 65 years old who are on

N.L. health-care system in ‘a deep, dark hole’: NLMA president


SaltWire’s Atlantic regional weather forecast for August 23, 2023 | SaltWire

Watch on YouTube: “SaltWire’s Atlantic regional weather forecast for August 23, 2023 | SaltWire”

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — How big is the backlog of surgeries in Newfoundland and Labrador right now? At a Thursday news conference about fixing that very issue, no officials nor the health minister could give reporters a number.

When pressed to describe the backlog in words instead of a number, one official offered the following: “It’s large,” said Cassie Chisholm, vice-president of transformation (health systems) for the provincial health authority.

Chisholm could offer some approximate numbers for specific categories of surgeries. For example, she said there are about 3,000 people waiting for total hip and knee joint replacements, and about 4,000 backlogged cataract surgeries.

In April last year, the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association (NLMA) said there were almost 6,800 backlogged surgeries at the Health Sciences Centre and St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital alone.

NLMA president Dr. Gerard Farrell. — Juanita Mercer/SaltWire
NLMA president Dr. Gerard Farrell. — Juanita Mercer/SaltWire

SaltWire asked NLMA president Dr. Gerard Farrell on Thursday whether that number has changed. He couldn’t provide a number, but he could speak subjectively from his experience working as a doctor.

“I don’t see the wait times going down,” he said.

In fact, Farrell said, over the past couple of months, even something like getting a CAT scan takes longer now than it did a year ago.

“It’s very, very difficult to get for our patients the kind of care that we think they deserve in today’s environment,” he said.

“I’ve had days when, at the end of the morning, I’ve looked at my list and I said, ‘What have I accomplished for these folks?’ Not because I’m not trying hard, but because I just can’t get them

Over 100 fertility patients had data breached by N.L. Health Services

Two smiling women stand next to each other in their living room.
Julia Collins, left, and Kelsey Puddister-Collins are two of over 100 people who had their privacy breached by Newfoundland and Labrador Health Services on Tuesday. (Terry Roberts/CBC)

When Kelsey Puddister-Collins opened an email from Newfoundland and Labrador Fertility Services on Tuesday, she said she was mortified to see the names and email addresses of over 100 people on the email list.

Puddister-Collins’ information was among those shared in a data breach. The email was a survey about her experience in receiving the province’s fertility subsidy, which people can avail of when travelling out of province for procedures like in vitro fertilization.

“I realized that I was carbon copied with 126 other people. So they forgot to [blind carbon copy] us in the email, and so all of our emails were kind of just all out there,” Puddister-Collins told CBC News on Wednesday. “First and last names, and emails for everyone to see.”

Puddister-Collins has been vocal in her fertility journey with her partner, Julia Collins, but said she felt for those on the list who are keeping their journey private — some of whom have reached out to her feeling angry and violated.

“Some people are not wanting other people to know about that in such a vulnerable situation, which makes so much sense,” she said.

“So many people are in the middle of a fertility cycle, already so stressed, so taxed with the physical and mental struggles of doing these cycles already. To have this on top of what is already an extremely difficult process is just overwhelming for so many people. I cannot believe that I’m having to advocate for my privacy on top of access to fertility services.”

Newfoundland and Labrador Health Services issued a news release Wednesday, apologizing for the breach it says affected 116 people.

Despite warnings, N.L. health officials didn’t bolster cyberdefences before ransomware attack

Newfoundland and Labrador health officials did not act on a series of warnings and failed to adequately protect sensitive health information of hundreds of thousands of people before a ransomware gang launched a devastating cyberattack in 2021 that surreptitiously scooped up 200 gigabytes of data and paralyzed the province’s health-care system.

That’s among the findings of a 115-page report on the attack issued Wednesday morning by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner. 

“The biggest question at the outset of this investigation for us was whether this cyberattack succeeded despite these [provincial health] entities having cybersecurity practices that met recognized international standards, or if it succeeded because those standards were not being met at the time,” the provincial watchdog noted in the report.

“Unfortunately, we found the latter.”

Security in the health information system “was lacking in a number of important areas” and internationally recognized, industry-standard cybersecurity measures were “either not in place or not fully implemented.”

The report found that deficit left the personal health information and personal information of citizens of the province vulnerable to cyberattack — “which, under the circumstances, was almost an inevitability.”

Investigators concluded that these vulnerabilities were known within the health-care system but officials failed to fix them.

“The Department of Health and Community Services was informed in 2020 — over a year prior to the cyberattack — that a threat assessment rated the chances of a cyberattack as high, and the impact of such an event as high,” said Sean Murray, a senior official in the commissioner’s office who led the probe.

“In other words, the ransomware attack against our public health information systems was a foreseeable event. Efforts to reduce these vulnerabilities prior to the cyberattack were inadequate.”

A man in a suit wearing glasses speaks in front of a microphone.
Sean Murray is director of research and quality assurance in the Office of

Health unions support decision to remove mask mandate from N.L. hospitals

Two medical professionals wearing PPE.
Health-care workers in Newfoundland and Labrador are no longer required to wear a medical in most situations. (Pascal Rossignol/Reuters)

Health-care workers in Newfoundland and Labrador are no longer required to wear masks as a COVID-19 precaution in some scenarios, but the unions that represent them say that doesn’t mean they can’t.

The province’s health authority sent a memo to staff on Friday following the lead of the Department of Health. Masks will still be worn in certain situations, like when working with COVID-19 positive patients or when a respiratory swab is pending, but staff are being asked to self-assess their risk of illness to determine if they need to wear a mask.

Yvette Coffey, president of the Registered Nurses’ Union of Newfoundland and Labrador, says she’s confident following the advice of the department.

“Coming from, you know, infection prevention … we always say that people should follow through their risk assessments,” Coffey told CBC News Monday. “I am hearing that there’s mixed reactions out there, but that most people are wearing masks after they do their risk assessments.”

Jerry Earle, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE), represents about 10,000 workers in the health-care system. He also supports the decision, saying he’s heard from members about how long the mask mandate had been ongoing.

A collage of two photos showing a man and woman standing in front of a microphone.
NAPE president Jerry Earle and RNUNL president Yvette Coffey say they’re confident in the decision made by the Department of Health. (CBC)

“Health-care providers right across the province have been wearing these from the time they step in the door to the time they leave 12-hour shifts, extended shifts,” Earle said.

“So yeah, some of those [providers] are basically saying ‘Yeah, it’s probably time now that we be able to not wear them,’ but recognizing that they still have the

N.L. has no plans to pay for care by private nurse practitioners: Osborne

A man wearing a blue, collared shirt and blazer, standing beside a woman with a black shirt. Both have stethoscopes hanging around their neck.
Travis Sheppard and Lacey Sparkes have operated a private nurse practitioner clinic in Corner Brook since February 2022. (Submitted by Lacey Sparkes)

Nurse practitioners who have their own private clinics won’t be able to bill the government for patient visits any time soon, and the association that represents them says that hurts people who need care at a time when there’s a shortage of health-care providers. 

Right now, private-practice nurse practitioners have to charge patients out of pocket, and some of them have said what’s needed is a way to have the cost covered by the Newfoundland and Labrador government. 

But the province’s health minister, Tom Osborne, says the provincial government is not considering direct billing to the public health-care system for nurse practitioner visits. 

“We aren’t looking at that at this particular time,” said Osborne. “The nurse practitioners in this province will be part of the public system.”

That’s bad news for nurse practitioners such as Lacey Sparkes and Travis Sheppard. The two nurse practitioners have been in private practice together since February 2022 at the Nurse Practitioner Health and Wellness Clinic in Corner Brook. 

“What we’ve been asking for is, we just want a way to practise autonomously where we can provide our services without a fee to the patient. We want to provide a publicly funded service,” said Sparkes.

Sheppard said their clinic had a huge influx of patients when it opened, as so many people without family physicians were glad to be able to get care and to avoid emergency room visits. With the presence of the private nurse practitioner clinic obviously alleviating pressure on the local emergency room, he said, it’s hard to understand why the government doesn’t see value in covering the cost of patient visits.

“I’m surprised that we’re not further ahead than

Fired ambulance company sues N.L. Well being Section, regional health authority

A paramedic looks contemplative, sitting with a strecher and medical supplies in the background.
Wade Smith, viewed in this article in a file picture, owns Smith’s Ambulance Support, a private ambulance operator. (Mark Cumby/CBC)

An ambulance services that experienced its deal for products and services in the Whitbourne space terminated abruptly previously this month has submitted a lawsuit in opposition to the provincial Section of Wellness and the area’s regional health and fitness authority.

In a assertion of declare filed past 7 days in the Supreme Courtroom of Newfoundland and Labrador, Smith’s Ambulance Service says it was terminated devoid of see on March 2 and dispute resolution methods outlined in the ambulance service arrangement ended up not followed. 

The firm has been supplying ambulance service to the Whitbourne location considering that 1996 and signed its most modern agreement with the provincial government and Japanese Health in January.

Some Smith’s Ambulance employees told CBC News they located out their employer’s agreement was severed, leaving them with no careers, by way of an Japanese Health push launch posted to Fb on the evening of March 2. 

In paperwork submitted in court docket, Smith’s stated Jap Well being despatched the corporation a letter in mid-June that alleged the enterprise experienced breached its ambulance service settlement on June 1. 

Smith’s said the letter didn’t comply with their deal or let them to overview the circumstance and answer before motion was taken. The corporation also alleges Japanese Wellbeing did not notify it of the potential breach of agreement within three days of turning out to be conscious of it, as its contract demands. 

A female paramedic sits inside an ambulance with an automated external defibrillator layed on top of a stretcher. She is pressing a button on the defibrillators.
A principal-treatment paramedic with Smith’s Ambulance Support checks ambulance products right before her change starts in this picture from November. (Heather Gillis/CBC)

The assertion of claim also said the corporation worked with Eastern Health to resolve troubles but was nonetheless anxious about the breach of agreement

N.L. to consolidate ambulance expert services as minister offers of most important health-treatment commit to date

A bald, mustachioed man speaks into a microphone.
Newfoundland and Labrador Well being Minister Tom Osborne says a provincially operate ambulance application with central dispatch will enhance solutions. (Patrick Butler/Radio-Canada)

Newfoundland and Labrador’s overall health minister is touting the highest once-a-year health-care spending in the province’s history, an estimated $3.9 billion — for a population of just around 50 percent a million men and women. A portion of that value will be invested on reimagining ambulance expert services.

A lot of what was contained in the wellbeing finances was by now produced public in a suite of pre-finances announcements. Amongst them: a new urgent-care centre, retention and remoteness bonuses and 10 new family members-care groups.

On the heels of a paramedics’ strike and the loss of just one non-public operator, the province has earmarked $9 million to consolidate 60 different road ambulance providers into a single technique with centralized dispatch. Aspect of that cash will go toward hiring a marketing consultant.

“We have viewed more than the past quantity of months difficulties raised with ambulance providers,” said Health and fitness Minister Tom Osborne.

“I believe obtaining a provincially run, integrated, with a central command for that system, will make sure a a lot more seamless process as opposed to a fragmented technique.”

Purpose of non-public operators is not known

What part personal operators will carry on to engage in is unidentified, Osborne explained, but he advised extra distant areas of the province could retain their personal- or group-based mostly ambulance operator.

“We price our non-public operators,” Osborne mentioned.

“I you should not want to set the cart right before the horse for what it will search like for operators.”

There will be some community operators and some distant operations may continue to operate less than a unique program.

“We will also see the integration of workforce in addition

N.L. says Hive ransomware group was behind 2021 cyberattack on wellness programs

The Newfoundland and Labrador authorities claims the Hive ransomware group was at the rear of a cyberattack that paralyzed the province’s wellbeing-care system a yr and a half in the past.

But best government officers however is not going to say regardless of whether they paid a ransom.

“We won’t be able to disclose nearly anything about a ask for for a ransom, for protection reasons,” Justice Minister John Hogan informed reporters Tuesday afternoon.

“Once again, that is tips we get from security companies, lawful directions, legal suggestions, and other groups that have experienced this transpire to them.”

U.S. legislation enforcement officials declared in January that they experienced dismantled the Hive ransomware community.

Hogan said that disclosure cleared the way for officers in Newfoundland and Labrador to eventually say who was responsible for the assault that focused their methods 18 months ago.

“Just one of the explanations once again, I want to pressure, that we’re in a position to reveal who the entity is, is for the reason that of the function that was finished in the States by the Office of Justice there,” Hogan mentioned.

“We now know that the danger has been extinguished. So now that that does not exist any additional, we feel we are risk-free to disclose it to the general public. Doing so any before would have still, we felt, put techniques at chance.”

A man wearing a suit looks at the camera and smiles.
Newfoundland and Labrador Justice Minister John Hogan would not say whether the province paid a ransom to cyberattackers in 2021. (Terry Roberts/CBC)

According to U.S. legislation enforcement, the Hive ransomware team specific additional than 1,500 victims all around the planet and gained over $100 million in ransom payments, beginning in June 2021.

American officials stated the FBI had penetrated Hive’s laptop networks because late July 2022, captured its decryption keys, and

Back To Top