N.B. Nurses Union: Closure of obstetrics unit in Bathurst protects patients, staff

The New Brunswick Nurses Union says two recent closures of the obstetrics unit at the Chaleur Regional Hospital in Bathurst are a result of its pleas falling on deaf ears.

Union president Paula Doucet says she's been warning the government, universities, and health authorities of a dangerous shortage of nurses for years.

Doucet says nurses and patients are being put at risk because nurses in that department are being overworked, some working shifts of 24 or even 48 hours at a time.

She says the decision to shut down the unit was a good move because it ensured the safety of patients and staff.

Earlier this week, the hospital closed the unit for the second time in as many weeks due to a staff shortage.

It's expected to remain closed until at least Tuesday.

(with files from CBC)