TORONTO, May 13, 2014 /CNW/ - Politicians of all political stripes will join registered nurses (RN) and nurse practitioners (NP) on the front lines of Ontario's health system to learn more about their pivotal role in keeping the province healthy.
Leading up to the June 12 provincial election, political candidates are headed to nurse practitioner-led clinics, community health centres, hospitals and other health-care facilities across Ontario. For the past 14 years, the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) has invited politicians to go to work with nurses to celebrate National Nursing Week (May 12 – 18) while getting a firsthand look at what it takes to be an RN or NP in Ontario, and what is needed to strengthen the health system.
"RNAO is delighted to meet with politicians and enrich their understanding of the crucial work of nurses, and the expertise they use to care for Ontarians," says RNAO President Vanessa Burkoski. "We hope the experience inspires seasoned and aspiring politicians to make healthy public policy decisions in the future."
"Nurses are at the forefront of the province's health system," adds Doris Grinspun, chief executive officer of RNAO, "and they know best how to ensure timely access of the highest quality care for the people of Ontario that improves lives and saves dollars. This is why we want to share our knowledge with politicians."
Nurses and politicians will also discuss the critical ingredients needed to keep people healthy and keep our health system functioning, such as a $14 per hour minimum wage, an increase in the number of RNs and NPs working in Ontario, and the end of medical tourism – a practice that undermines and will ultimately dismantle universal health care. In April, nurses outlined these recommendations and more in RNAO's vision for the future of Ontario's health system. The association has also sent a series of questions regarding important nursing, health, and health-care issues to each party leader, and their responses will posted on RNAO's website.
RNAO's Take Your MPP to Work event dates back to 2001, when the association invited all provincial party leaders to shadow an RN at work. It has since grown to a large province-wide initiative, which has drawn premiers, ministers of health, and politicians from all political parties and levels of government. Since this year's event falls during an election, it has been expanded to include all political candidates throughout the campaign.
So far, the following politicians and health organizations are confirmed for this year's event:
- Bob Bailey (PC) Sarnia-Lambton – Early Years Centre at St. Philip Catholic School in Petrolia, Ont. on May 15 from 9 – 10:30 a.m.
- Christine Elliott (PC) Whitby-Oshawa, PC health critic (2009-2011, 2012-2014) – breakfast at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences in Whitby, Ont. on May 16 from 8 – 10 a.m.
- Jim McDonell (PC) Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry – Winchester District Memorial Hospital in Winchester, Ont. on May 16 from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
- Rob Leone (PC) Cambridge – Waterloo Region Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic in Cambridge, Ont. on May 16 from 12 – 1 p.m.
- Laura Albanese (LIB) York South-Weston – Emery Keelesdale Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic in Toronto, Ont. on May 16 at 2 p.m.
- Peter Tabuns (NDP) Toronto-Danforth – Toronto Public Health (850 Coxwell Ave.) in Toronto, Ont. on May 22 from 9 – 10 a.m.
- Paul Miller (NDP) Hamilton East-Stoney Creek – Refuge: Hamilton Centre for Newcomer Health (satellite) in Hamilton, Ont. on May 22 from 10 – 11 a.m.
A complete list of candidate visits, which will be updated throughout the election campaign, is available online.
The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses' contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.
For more information about RNAO, visit our website at www.RNAO.ca. You can also check out our Facebook page at RNAO.ca/facebook and follow us on Twitter RNAO.ca/twitter
SOURCE: Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario
For further information: To arrange interviews or for more information, please contact: Daniel Punch, Editorial Assistant, RNAO, Office: (416) 408-5610, Toll free: 1-800-268-7199 ext. 211, dpunch@RNAO.ca