Manitoba service for sexual assault victims sees more staffing trouble as nurses quit

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WINNIPEG — Four nurses hired on a casual basis to help examine victims of sexual assault in Manitoba have resigned in one day.

It is the latest blow to the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, which has failed at times to live up to its plan to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Manitoba Nurses Union says nurses are quitting because officials have failed to properly support and staff the program.

The Health Sciences Centre says it's looking to fill its schedule, partly by having physicians pitch in.

The union said earlier this year that some survivors of sexual assault were being told not to shower and to come back later for care because no one was available.

Health Minister Audrey Gordon says the province committed funding a year ago to make the program operate round-the-clock, and says she holds health system leaders accountable for what has happened.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 21, 2023

The Canadian Press