Capital Health admits to widespread rodent problem
A rodent problem at the Victoria General site of the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre isn’t isolated to the one hospital, the Capital District Health Authority has confirmed to CTV News.
Days after a patient complained of mice in the palliative care unit at Victoria General, Capital Health admits rodents are a problem in many of its buildings in Halifax, even the newer ones.
Sean Feeney, the manager of housekeeping for Capital Health, says there have been mice sightings at the Halifax Infirmary as well.
“We are working as hard as we can to rectify this problem as soon as possible,” says Feeney.
A Capital Health employee who wished to remain anonymous says she has worked at the Halifax Infirmary for 16 years. She says rodents are a major issue both inside and outside the building.
“I recall a time when there was a gentleman out there and there were numerous, you know, at his feet. Very scary for the patient,” she says.
The employee says rodents have been a problem for about a year and she has even found mice running through her desk drawers.
Capital Health admits it’s a problem, but isn’t calling it an infestation.
Feeney says he has seen what he describes as “scattered pockets of sightings” of rodents at the Halifax Infirmary, but he says the animals are dealt with as soon as they are spotted.
An email has been sent to Capital Health nurse managers, urging them to report any sightings to the housekeeping team.
“We’re finding out, we may not know about some of them,” says Feeney.
According to the health and safety officer for the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union, there have been several rodent sightings at many Capital Health buildings.
“This situation appears to speak to the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of Capital Health’s pest management program,” says Paul Cormier in a statement to CTV News.
Braemar Pest Control used to take care of Capital Health’s buildings, but the company lost the contract a few years ago. However, it was hired back a few months ago.
“We have a very effective program, but we have just recently been brought back,” says Dave Holland. “We were just brought back into the scene a couple months ago and now we’re playing a bit of catchup.”
Feeney says his housekeeping team and Braemar Pest Control are working diligently to eliminate all pests in all of Capital Health’s facilities, and Capital Health says it is its number one priority.
Capital Health tells CTV News that staff at the Victoria General Hospital have completed a blitz on the palliative care unit, during which time they went from room-to-room, moving furniture, repairing any maintenance issues, and scrubbing each room from top to bottom.
A pest control provider is also on site daily.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Alyse Hand