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B.C. Health Minister announces $2-million to keep nurses safer

08/06/2015 12:17 EDT | Updated 08/06/2016 05:59 EDT
B.C.'s Health Minister Terry Lake announced $2-million in funding to make workplaces safer at four hospital sites in the province.

The money will go to high-risk hospitals including Hillside Psychiatric Centre in Kamloops, Forensic Psychiatric Centre in Port Coquitlam, Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health in Victoria.

"These are sites that sometimes deal with complex and unpredictable patients," said Lake in Vancouver Thursday morning. "It's probably not possible to get the risk to zero... but we'd like to get as close as possible."

The funding will be used to install distress buttons and increase education and training around safety.

B.C. Nurses Union president Gayle Duteil said that nurses face more attacks on the job than police officers.

The union says there are 12 sites that need immediate attention and Duteil said she hopes the minister improves safety in all health care settings soon.

"We hope to minimize risks for nurses across the province of B.C." said Duteil.

"It's a good start. These sites have high levels of violence."

The union wants to improve nurses equipment and security in hospitals, to "short circuit" violent situations.

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