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As healthcare workers continue to leave the profession, remaining staff is left with 'unbearable workload'

In Ottawa alone, there are 3,000 healthcare vacancies to fill.
Hospital patient with healthcare worker - Getty Morsa Images

As healthcare workers continue to face burnout, new data shows that the staff turnover rate in Ontario hospitals is at nearly 15 per cent. 

Dave Verch, a registered practical nurse (RPN) and vice-president of CUPE's Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU-CUPE), told The Sam Laprade Show on Sept. 13 that the turnover rate indicates a "mass exodus" of healthcare workers. 

Verch said that in Ottawa alone, there are 3,000 vacancies, from nurses and paramedics to clerical and support workers. 

"It's an incredible vacuum that it's causing right now," he said. 

Although Verch has been away from the hospital for three months, he said filling in the gaps was like a game of musical chairs when he was there. 

"There's just not enough staff there, and patients are being moved into other sections, which is causing basically an unbearable workload," he explained. 

He added that the long emergency room wait times caused by staff shortages have caused "offload delays" for paramedics, meaning they cannot safely transfer patients to hospital staff.

It's not only the emergency department experiencing delays due to reduced staff, it's the entire hospital system, Verch said. 

Listen to the full interview with Dave Verch below: 

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