Island Health Eliminates On Call Nursing on Mayne Island

Island Health has eliminated on call weekend nursing coverage on Mayne Island.

 Island Health has announced that a realignment of nursing services to increase home and community care support means that there will no longer be a first call relief nurse on Mayne Island during weekends. This announcement is being published in its entirety in the next issues of Driftwood and Island Tides and is posted on the Mayne Island Health Centre Association (MIHCA) web site and the Mayne Island Info Facebook page.

We have been advocating for increased home and community care nursing coverage on Mayne and welcome this part of Island Health's announcement.
We were not, however, expecting this increase to come at the expense of our on call nursing services. That possibility was never discussed with either Mayne's medical team or the MIHCA board. In fact, we have been lobbying for and awaiting a permanent replacement since our on call nurse retired in the spring of 2014.

We were taken completely by surprise when Island Health gave us two weeks' notice that our on call nursing position would be eliminated effective November 21st, 2014. Galiano residents have also lost their on call nurse under the same circumstances.

What does this mean?
 With the exception of one weekend in four - when Dr. Losier will be available on island - all on call coverage will be by provided by phone. Barb Edwards, Mayne Island’s Unit Chief for BC Ambulance Services, notes, “This reduction in on call coverage will greatly increase the number of medical emergencies that need to be sent off island by either water taxi or helicopter, at significant cost to the health care system.”

What happens now?
 While we are very disappointed with this decision and the process by which it was reached, we will continue to work with Island Health, our medical team and our counterparts on Galiano to look for creative ways to fill the gap created by the elimination of this position. We will also make every effort to have a strong voice in any future decisions that affect health care delivery on Mayne. —Your MIHCA Board

Comments or questions? Island Health Ministry of Health

Phone or write to Island Health:
Island Health 
1952 Bay Street

Victoria, British Columbia 
V8R 1J8 Toll-free phone number: 1-877-370-8699.

You can also contact our local MLA Gary Holman in person or by mail:

Saanich North and the Islands Community Office

2393 Beacon Ave.
Sidney BC, V8L 1W9

Telephone: (250) 655-5711. Toll-Free: 1-855-955-5711. Fax: (250) 655-7398. Email:

MIHCA would like to hear from you too! If you have contacted or plan on contacting any of the above, please send us a copy to or drop a copy off at the Health Centre, Attention MIHCA.

A message from Dr. Losier regarding the elimination of our on call weekend nursing coverage.

It is very unfortunate that after 15 years of dedicated nurses serving our community, we have lost our on call weekend nursing coverage as of November 21st.

I strongly disagree with this decision to eliminate our on call nursing position. As the practicing physician on Mayne since 2001, I have spent over 2000 nights on call — something I could not have done without the support of a nurse.

I am also deeply concerned that Island Health Rural Health managers made this decision without any prior consultation with or input from our medical team.

The elimination of this position is being offset by increased home care nursing, but I believe the on call position could have been combined with more home care nursing hours.

At a meeting after we were informed of elimination of the on call position, I provided the Rural Health Managers with what I felt were strong and valid arguments to incorporate the on call role into the new home support nursing position, but Island Health was firm in its decision.

While I am extremely disappointed in this turn of events, I remain committed to our community and my patients.

With care and respect,
Juliana Losier, MD CCFP.

For further information about the contents of this announcement please contact MIHCA Board member Lindsay Allan

posted November 2014


  1. What a lovely community news page for Mayne Island.
    I am somewhat surprised not to see any photos of the Campbell Bay Music Festival.
    This Festival is the brain child of Adam Iredale Gray his sister Meg Iredale Gray and Elise Boeur.
    A fabulous family event that brings tourists and tourist dollars, not to mention fantastic musicians to Mayne Island every June for the past 7 years.
    Be sure to follow us at
    Looking forward to dancing with you out in the field.
    A happy participant.

  2. Dear Anonymous commenter: It certainly is a fabulous event, and brings tourists and dollars to Mayne Island. The event organizers have always been very welcome to submit an announcement to MayneNews if they would like to, but they only did that for the 2nd year. ( You may want to ask the organizers why they have chosen not to. In fact many Mayne Islanders are often surprised every year when several ferry loads of foot passengers arrive for it, because the festival does no local promotion that I'm aware of.