Toronto East General Laying Off Registered Nurses: Ontario Nurses' Association says patients at risk



    TORONTO, July 22 /CNW/ - The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) is gravely
concerned with the future quality of patient care at Toronto East General
Hospital following the news that the hospital plans to initially lay off
six registered nurses and replace them with supervisors; the elimination of a
further 30 RN positions is planned.
    "The decision to lay off six RNs - who act as Patient Care Coordinators
at East General - is the worst news possible for both the patients at this
facility and the remaining RNs who will experience yet another increase to
their workloads," says ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "The hospital is
trying to convince people that these positions are not an integral part of the
functioning of the day-to-day care of patients, but this is seriously flawed
thinking."
    ONA believes patient care will suffer because of these lay offs. Patient
Care Coordinators (PCCs) act as advocates for both patients and front-line
RNs. PCCs coordinate the care of our health-care team for our patients and
ensure that patients receive the care they not only need but require. Toronto
East General plans to replace the PCCs with supervisors.
    "Eliminating these six positions when nurses' plates are already full is
just plain irresponsible," says Haslam-Stroud. "The loss of these positions
will hinder quality patient care, cause an unhealthy work environment and
result in a loss of both patient and staff advocates."
    Local ONA Bargaining Unit President Faye Loverock, RN, says, "You simply
can't replace RNs with supervisors and non-nurses and not expect quality to
suffer."
    The lay offs come as the extent of C. difficile outbreaks in Ontario is
coming to light, as hospitals grapple with budget deficits, and as the
government says it is creating nursing positions.

    ONA is the union representing 54,000 registered nurses and allied health
professionals working in hospitals, long-term care, public health, the
community and industry.
    ONA is celebrating 35 years of nursing advocacy - a proud past, a
powerful future.





For further information:

For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association, Sheree Bond, (416)
964-8833, ext. 2430, Cellular: (416) 986-8240; Melanie Levenson, (416)
964-8833, ext. 2369


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