TORONTO, Feb. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA)
will meet with government to discuss any recommendations contained in
the just-released Drummond Report that will impact on health outcomes
for patients and the working conditions for RNs.
In its first analysis of the report, ONA found some recommendations to
be supportive of - such as fully uploading public health to the
provincial level, improving coordination across the health care system,
training more nurses and developing a health human resource strategy -
and some objectionable recommendations.
ONA objects in particular to recommendations that suggest that private
health care operators should provide out-of-hospital services.
"Taxpayer dollars must be retained for front-line care, not for profit
for corporations," says ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN.
In addition, ONA has some major concerns about labour relations
recommendations that infer that the arbitration system is not
objective, and that erode nurses' rights to respectful and fair
workplace practices and career opportunities when reorganizing occurs
in health care facilities.
"Nurses are on the front lines and see opportunities for cost savings
and improvements to quality patient care, yet their expertise was not
sought by Mr. Drummond," notes ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN.
"As advocates for their patients, quality patient care remains top of
mind and cuts that simply remove care in the name of 'efficiency' will
not be acceptable.
"Registered nurses in Ontario support transformation that leads to
better quality care," she says. "We believe that this province needs to
reverse tax cuts for corporations that in part have caused a structural
Registered nurses work in hospitals, long-term care, home care, public
health, the community and clinics, and just his week they have seen
another 60 RN positions cut at The Scarborough Hospital - repeating the
disastrous cuts of more than 100 RNs from Toronto East General
Hospital. The evidence is clear: fewer RNs mean increased patient
deaths and complication rates.
If patients are moved out of hospital and into the community, government
must build more capacity into home care, community services and
long-term care before this occurs. Failure to build capacity will leave more patients on
waiting lists in a province that already has tens of thousands without
the care they need.
"Our nurses have more than done their part to help eliminate the
deficit," says Haslam-Stroud. "The majority are under a two-year wage
freeze, they've worked thousands of hours of overtime to ensure
patients have the care they need as nursing cuts were made to balance
hospital budgets. They represent the kind of public-sector workers who
contribute greatly to the health and well-being of Ontarians, even as a
carefully orchestrated PR campaign unfolded to paint public-sector
workers as the cause of the deficit.
"As patient advocates, RNs will be leading the way in ensuring that
changes will be beneficial to patient care. The province simply can't
afford to give corporations more tax cuts while cutting the heart out
of health care."
ONA is the union representing 58,000 front-line RNs and allied health
professionals and more than 13,000 nursing student affiliates providing
care in Ontario hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health,
the community, industry and clinics.
SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association
For further information:
Ontario Nurses' Association
Sheree Bond (416) 964-1979, ext. 2430; cell (416) 986-8240; email@example.com
Melanie Levenson (416) 964-1979, ext. 2267; firstname.lastname@example.org
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