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Health care union annual convention postponed

Amid growing concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, and the need to take constructive steps to control contamination, the Board of Directors of Health Sciences Association of BC (HSA) has postponed indefinitely the union’s annual convention, slated for April 1-3, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver.

“This was a difficult call, but the right call for a union whose members are on the front lines of delivering care, as well as at risk to exposure,” said HSA President Val Avery.

HSA represents many of the specialized health professionals who make up the health care team, including
registered respiratory therapists and physiotherapists who are key to treating patients with respiratory infection and disease. The union also represents the health care providers responsible for diagnosis and recovery of patients.

“HSA’s convention brings together upwards of 400 health professionals who are critical to the good health of
British Columbians. Bringing them together at a time when what has now been confirmed as a global pandemic is on the rise, is just too risky for our members, and the general public they serve,” Avery said.

HSA has been involved in regular briefings with the Ministry of Health, Deputy Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry, health employers, and other health care unions since January.

“We have been monitoring events closely. The situation is changing daily, and our priority must be to preserve the integrity of our public health care system by reducing risks to the health care workers British Columbians rely on for their good health,” Avery said.

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