Councillors express concern over care at Aberdeen

Warden says from his experience, service is great

Published on May 21, 2014

PICTOU – A county councillor says he concerned about the level of care Pictou County residents are receiving at the Aberdeen Hospital.

During a recent finance committee meeting for the Municipality of Pictou County,  Coun. Jim Turple said he received an email from one of his constituents upset over the care her father is receiving as an inpatient on the fourth floor of the Aberdeen Hospital.

“She said the shortage of staff is so severe, she has to wash him, feed him and take food in for him,” said Turple. “She said the drinks come in containers that patients are unable to open and some patients are in bedpans for hours.”

Turple said she also passed along complaints about the food being served to the patients and the lack of blankets and clean towels on the floor.

“People are being abused and it has to stop,” he said. “This email was sent to me this afternoon and I would like to send our concerns along to the province’s minister of health and our three MLAs.”

Warden Ron Baillie told council he would not be putting his support behind such a letter to the province or the MLAs because he witnesses, first hand, good service on the fourth floor of the Aberdeen Hospital.

Baillie recently had a hip replacement surgery done in the Aberdeen Hospital and spent five days on fourth floor where he said “service couldn’t have been better”.

“I was treated well, there was lots of staff and the food, well it’s hospital food,” he said. “It was good. It was as good as I can get.”

Coun. Chester Dewar echoed Baillie’s comments saying that he too was treated well when he was a patient on the Aberdeen Hospital’s fourth floor.

He asked Turple if the woman was talking about the fifth floor of the hospital where patients wait for a place in nursing homes, which led to Coun. Robert Parker stating that some clarification might be needed on the issue before a letter is sent off to the province.

Turple said there was no reason for woman who contacted him to lie about what she was seeing at the hospital, adding she counted the number of nurses working each shift.

“In my view, regardless of what floor it is there are human beings there not being treated fairly,” he said.

Coun. Leonard Fraser said he was regular visitor to the Aberdeen Hospital when his father was a patient and he believes that people who can look after themselves are better off than those than those who require assistance from staff.

“As long as you are capable of doing so much, it’s not a bad place,” he said. “Sometimes staff don’t get there as fast as they should and some patients take a lot more care than others who can look after themselves.  People who have limited access have a problem, but it's a big problem with the system. The administrators should come out of his office and walk around and see things. They must be walking around with blinders on.”

Fraser said the hospital should be treated like a business.

“You have to get out and do it right,” he said.

Turple’s motion for a letter to be sent to the province and MLAs expressing concern over the level of care at the Aberdeen Hospital was carried with four councilors opposing it. It will need to pass through council’s June meeting for final approval before it can be sent off to provincial representatives.