CIHI Report shows Ontario continues to lag behind national RN staffing
TORONTO, Jan. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - The new report from the Canadian
Institute for Health Information (CIHI) shows that the vital ratio of
registered nurses to population has stagnated across Canada for the
past five years and is lower than those seen in the early 1990s. The
Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) believes this is as a result of RN
cuts in provinces such as Ontario.
CIHI's report shows that while there has been an 8-per-cent increase in
the total number of regulated nurses employed in Canada between 2007
and 2011, the ratio of RNs to population has remained unchanged because
while some provinces have hired RNs, others - such as Ontario - have
In the past five years, the Ontario ratio has fallen in terms of
direct-care RNs and is now third-lowest in the country. More current
data from the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) explains this further:
between 2011 and 2012, 844 RN positions were cut in this province.
"Ontario continues to lag behind almost every province in the country in
RN to population ratio," says ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN.
"The RN to population ratio is key to safe patient care because
historically, registered nurses are the professionals who are there on
the front lines for patients 24/7. Ontario is falling behind in terms
of the number of direct care RNs as well, relative to the rest of the
country, as health care employers continue to cut RN jobs and look for
short-term savings by hiring less-trained, lower-paid staff."
The average Canadian ratio is 785 RNs per 100,000 residents, but Ontario
employs just 668 RNs per 100,000 population, (Source: CNO). To meet the
Canadian average, the province would have to hire 15,646 more RNs.
"Ontario continues to see the total number of nursing positions fall, a
dangerous and unnecessary situation for any Ontarian needing care
today," said Haslam-Stroud. "Ontario data show that not only were 844
RN positions eliminated from the Ontario health system, but the number
of Ontario RNs employed in non-nursing jobs has increased to just under 5 per cent, the highest level since 2008."
Current levels of health care funding continue to adversely impact
Ontarians. "Keeping RN levels this low simply puts our patients at
risk, costs the system more and is a false economy," says
Haslam-Stroud. "RN care reduces the rates of death and disease in
patients. ONA is calling on the provincial government to commit to
increasing the number of RNs working here to ensure the quality patient
care Ontarians expect and deserve."
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.
SOURCE: Ontario Nurses' Association
For further information:
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