VANCOUVER – In an alarming turn of events, the maternity ward at St. Paul’s hospital has announced that it will likely be downsizing, apparently due to a severe labour shortage. However, there seems to be some confusion about what type of ‘labour’ is in short supply.
The hospital’s chief executive officer, Dr. Abraham Geisner commented, “Certainly, our issue is that labour numbers – in at least one of two senses – are at a record low. But beyond that, the report I was given is unfortunately vague.”
When pressed for more information on whether the hospital will reduce the number of beds or cut staff, Dr. Geisner responded, “One thing is certain: we have too few pregnant patients coming in – or, wait … do we have too few doctors and nurses? Honestly, I have not had time to wrap my head around this.”
“There are some empty beds but it is not like I have any down-time,” said Debby Chalmers, a maternity ward nurse at St. Paul’s. “So, I’m not sure if we have empty beds because we are under-staffed or fewer people are getting knocked up.”
“I think a couple of beds are broken, actually,” Ms. Chalmers continued. “I called our maintenance crew last week and didn’t hear back. Maybe they’re short-staffed and that’s the issue?”
The ambiguity puts the hospital in a tough position. “At this point, we are trying to work with the information we have,” said Dr. Geisner. “One thing we are considering is trying to recruit more doctors and nurses who are, themselves, pregnant,” he added. “I think that makes sense?”
The Beaverton contacted the business analyst responsible for the perplexing report. As of press time, only an ambiguous and somewhat concerning automatic reply was received: “My wife recently went into labour and due to labour issues, I may not return until January.”