Last week, the Ontario government celebrated National Nursing Week
This week, it is allowing more Registered Nurse cuts
Ontario already has the 2nd-lowest number of RNs per person in Canada
117 fewer RNs per 100,000 residents than the average
Nurses' union is calling for a moratorium on RN job cuts
SCARBOROUGH, ON, May 17, 2013 /CNW/ - New information about the latest
cuts of Registered Nurses (RNs) at The Scarborough Hospital, coming
less than a week after National Nursing Week celebrations concluded, is
further evidence that the Ontario government is cutting health care.
Nurses are the professionals who provide most of the front-line care to
patients in Ontario. Scientific research studies have demonstrated that
there are fewer deaths and complications when more RNs are providing
direct patient care.
"Cutting Registered Nurse jobs is cutting health care," said Andy
Summers, RN, Regional Vice-President of the Ontario Nurses' Association
(ONA) for the Greater Toronto Area. "Health care is consistently the
number one concern of voters. If you are running a government that
claims to be improving health care, there is no reasonable
justification for allowing RN jobs to be cut."
Ontario has the second-lowest RN-to-population ratio in the country: 668
RNs per 100,000 residents, compared to an average of 785 RNs to 100,000
residents in other Canadian provinces and territories. In order to
catch up to the rest of Canada, 15,646 more RNs would need to be
employed throughout Ontario. Instead of fixing the problem by employing
more registered nurses, the Ontario health system employed 844 fewer
RNs in 2012 than it did in 2011.
"Cutting health care by cutting the number of RNs available to provide
care is not only happening in Scarborough. Front-line health care cuts
are happening across the province because, in real dollars, hospital
funding is being cut by the provincial government," said Summers.
The poor standing of Ontario in terms of RNs employed in the health
system to serve the population is not new, but it is a well known
problem that the currently-governing party promised to fix when it took
Last week, ONA released new research that shows understaffing is causing more work-related injuries and
illness, and RNs are the most injured workers in Ontario—facing more
dangerous workplace conditions than even several groups of construction
and manufacturing workers.
"Those of us who are the RNs left behind after the endless rounds of
cuts are having trouble coping with the workload," said Susan Brickell,
RN, ONA Bargaining Unit President for The Scarborough Hospital. "We
want to provide health care that is second-to-none for our patients,
but we can't do that when there aren't enough of us to do the work to
the high standard that our profession demands."
The Ontario Nurses' Association is calling for a province-wide
moratorium on the elimination of nursing positions, to take effect
"Do you want your family to get the best quality health care possible,
or the cheapest health care?" asked Brickell. "By allowing more
Registered Nurse positions to be eliminated, the government is
answering this question for you and their choice doesn't even save
money when the full costs—of preventable infections and re-admissions
of patients, and work-related injuries and illnesses of nurses—are
ONA is the union representing 60,000 front-line registered nurses, nurse
practitioners, registered practical nurses and allied health
professionals as well as more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates
providing care in Ontario hospitals, long-term care facilities, public
health, the community, industry and clinics.
Image with caption: "Registered nurses at The Scarborough Hospital are advocating for their patients by helping the community send the message: cutting nurses is cutting health care. (Photo Credit: Gregory Bennett) (CNW Group/Ontario Nurses' Association)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130517_C7015_PHOTO_EN_26761.jpg
Image with caption: "Moratorium on Nursing Cuts Now (CNW Group/Ontario Nurses' Association)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130517_C7015_PHOTO_EN_26730.jpg
Image with caption: "Cutting Registered Nurses = Cutting Health Care (CNW Group/Ontario Nurses' Association)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130517_C7015_PHOTO_EN_26729.jpg
Image with caption: "More Registered Nurses = Better Health Care (CNW Group/Ontario Nurses' Association)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130517_C7015_PHOTO_EN_26731.jpg
SOURCE: Ontario Nurses' Association
For further information:
Ontario Nurses' Association
Ken Marciniec (416) 964-1979 ext.2306; cell: (416) 803-6066; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sheree Bond (416) 964-1979 ext.2430; cell: (416) 986-8240; email@example.com
Visit us at: www.ona.org; www.Facebook.com/OntarioNurses; www.Twitter.com/OntarioNurses