Patients pay the price for underfunding
OTTAWA, March 18, 2015 /CNW/ - The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) has informed the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) that it is cutting more than 50 registered nursing positions to balance its budget, leaving some of the most ill and vulnerable pediatric patients with less care.
"Once again, our patients are paying the price for frozen hospital funding," said ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "In this case, some of the sickest children in the province – in the neonatal intensive care unit, pediatric intensive care unit, ambulatory care, in-patient surgical and medical units, will pay the price for fewer hours of RN care. The Nursing Resource Team is also being cut."
Haslam-Stroud cites multiple scientific studies that have consistently found that for every extra patient added to an average RN's workload, rates of patient complications and even death rise by seven per cent.
"No matter what CHEO management tells the public, the proof is clear that cutting RNs increases the risks to patients," said Haslam-Stroud. "It is especially heart-wrenching to hear of these cuts that will have a negative impact on the health outcomes of our youngest patients. As a mother and a grandmother, I want the best quality care there is for our children."
"This is the loss of more than 90,000 hours of RN care a year for our pediatric patients," notes Haslam-Stroud. "The community should be outraged about these cuts. Everyone will need the skilled care of an RN someday, and for CHEO patients, the loss of that care will have a negative impact."
Haslam-Stroud urges the community to protest ongoing RN cuts, both in Ottawa and across the province. She notes that Ontario has the second-worst RN-to-resident ratio in Canada.
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, the community, public health, clinics and industry.
SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association