Earlier this week, Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living, Cameron Friesen, announced a request for proposals to review security programs, services and systems at key health-care facilities across the province.

It is our responsibility to ensure health-care facilities throughout the province are safe and secure for patients, visitors and staff,” said Friesen in Monday’s news release. 

This review will report back on the varying levels of staffing and training standards currently in place at these facilities and create a plan to ensure the continued safety for all Manitobans visiting or working at these facilities.”

According to the Press Release, ‘The review will include interviews with security staff at each site and an evaluation of policies and data in a variety of areas.’

Reviewers will also look at physical security including available security equipment, alarm systems and other key security features.  They will assess security reporting and data analysis.’

Steve Geletchuk is the Manager for Disaster Emergency Preparedness and Security Services for Prairie Mountain Health.

One of the more significant points they’re looking at is to enhance the capabilities of our security officers in our health-care setting so that they have more ability to do their jobs more effectively, “explains Geletchuk.

So, this would include increased training as well as the ability to give them more authority and more skills to ensure that they continue to work in these critical areas effectively”

Last fall, staff at the Health Sciences Centre in downtown Winnipeg were attacked by an individual reportedly high on crystal meth. According to front-line health workers, this is all too common a problem. They have reported an increase in violence in their facility that coincides directly with the increase of the meth crisis.

The news release addresses this concern: ‘Manitoba’s largest hospital, Health Sciences Centre (HSC) Winnipeg, recently implemented a number of enhancements to improve security at its campus.  Those initiatives included hiring additional security staff, enhancing training, limiting access points to the HSC campus overnight and equipping staff with personal alarms.’

At Prairie Mountain Health, we strive to do the best we can to ensure the safety to staff, visitors and patients,” says Geletchuk, “and we feel that everybody should feel safe in our hospitals or care homes or other health care facilities.”

The Province’s intent is to create a new Institutional Security Officer to further support the regional security guard, if it’s deemed appropriate at this point.”

Right now, they’re looking at it, and we’re following along with the recommendations and guidelines that the province will give us to operate or use.

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