BC government acts on HSA call for summit on violence in health care

Following HSA President Val Avery's proposal, Health Minister Terry Lake will convene a summit to address the continuing problem of violence in health care workplaces. The provincial government has invited HSA to help conduct the day-long solutions-oriented discussion Tuesday April 7 in Richmond.

"In December, HSA called on government to bring together health care workers, employers and workplace safety experts for a summit on preventing violence in our health care system. I am pleased The Minister of Health has answered our call, and I am optimistic that by bringing together key players to address the gaps between the best practice standards, and how they are applied across the province, we can make improvements in violence prevention that ultimately protect health care workers and patients," Avery said.

The summit will give unions representing health care workers -- including health science professionals, facilities and support workers, and nurses – an opportunity for substantive input on a problem that has threatened health care workers and patients for years. Health Minister Terry Lake, senior Ministry of Health staff, Health Authority CEOs and Occupational Health and Safety Directors, WorkSafe BC, and physicians, will also participate.

"HSA members know full well the difficulties involved in providing care for patients or clients while also having to manage their own personal safety. There is always a professional desire and expectation to provide the highest standard of care possible, but this is becoming increasingly difficult due to inadequate protections against violence and aggression," Avery said.

As part of the summit agenda, HSA has been invited to deliver a presentation focused on the gaps in practices to prevent violence, and offer solutions to improve the experience of health care workers and patients.