Brockville General RN Cuts Will Hurt Patient Care

BROCKVILLE, ON, July 9, 2015 /CNW/ - Registered nurses (RNs) working at Brockville General Hospital say cutting almost 17 full-time and part-time RN positions will have a significant impact on the safety of patient care.

The loss of these positions, including one full-time RN position in both the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and in the Operating Room (OR), and reduced nursing hours in the Emergency Room (ER), will mean the removal of more than 16,000 hours of direct hands-on RN patient care.

Further, the facility intends to replace RNs with Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) in the ICU and ER. RPNs, while an important component of the health-care system, do not have the qualifications, assessment ability and broader range of skills and education of RNs to work with these acute, critical, complex and unpredictable patients.

"Our dedicated and highly skilled RNs are concerned about the safety of care in this community. Brockville General has chosen to risk the health outcomes of our patients by cutting RN hours," says ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN.

"Sadly this is happening across the province, and the research and evidence shows the devastating impact of RN cuts on our patients and our ability to provide safe, high-quality care: excessive workloads, more complications, increased infections, higher morbidity and mortality rates and readmissions, longer wait times and poorer health outcomes. The research is clear: Ontario needs more RNs, not fewer. The government and hospitals need to put a moratorium on RN cuts."

Ontario continues to have the second-worst ratio of RNs to population in all of Canada. According to the latest statistics from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), Ontario has just 714 RNs per 100,000 population compared to an average of 836 per 100,000 for the rest of the country. This is a direct result of Ontario hospitals balancing their budgets at the expense of RN positions. Even worse, for the first time in 20 years, the supply of RNs has fallen.  Since January, Ontario has cut more than 400 RN positions.

Haslam-Stroud encourages Brockville residents to question their MPPs on where they stand on more RNs, and demand better, safer patient care – not cuts. Our patients deserve better.

ONA is the union representing 60,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals, as well as more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry. 

Visit us at: www.ona.org; Facebook.com/OntarioNurses; Twitter.com/OntarioNurses

SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association

For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association, Melanie Levenson (416) 964-8833, ext. 2369; melaniel@ona.org; Katherine Russo (416) 964-8833, ext. 2214; katheriner@ona.org

RELATED LINKS
http://www.ona.org

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