SARNIA, ON, Jan. 29, 2015 /CNW/ - The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) is expressing serious concern for patient care after Bluewater Health announced it is cutting 39 registered nurses.
"It's gut-wrenching for us as registered nurses to again be told that our care must be cut to balance budgets," said ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "We know that these cuts have a tremendously negative impact on the quality of patient care, and increase the risks our patients have of suffering from a higher risk of complications and even death."
Bluewater Health has announced that to eliminate its $6-million funding shortfall for 2015-16, it will cut RNs in the intensive care unit, medicine telemetry, ER, geriatric emergency management, palliative care, cognitively complex care, acute medical in-patient unit, OR, surgical in-patient unit, and day surgery-pre-and post-operative care units.
Haslam-Stroud says that patients have suffered as hospitals across the province have cut RNs to balance budgets.
"Again and again, hospitals choose to cut the RNs who provide the care our patients need to have the best health outcomes possible, even as mounting research shows the direct correlation between adequate RN staffing levels and better patient outcomes," she said. "While the provincial government's goal of steering resources to home care may be well-intentioned, it has starved hospitals of much-needed funding and is hurting our patients' health. There is no ICU in home care, and the ICU patients in Sarnia need RN care."
Studies continue to show that for every RN cut, the risks of patient complications and death rise an average of seven per cent. The 39 RN cuts at Bluewater Health equate to approximately 80,000 hours of RN care gone. Haslam-Stroud says Bluewater residents should be outraged and express their anger to the Health Minister.
The Ontario Nurses' Association (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: Ontario Nurses' Association: Sheree Bond, (416) 964-8833, ext.2430; cell: (416) 986-8240; firstname.lastname@example.org; Melanie Levenson, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2369; email@example.com