Cutting Nurses, Cutting Care: Ontario Nurses' Association launches new ad campaign to save patient care

    TORONTO, Feb. 9 /CNW/ - The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA), the union
representing 54,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals, is
launching a new ad campaign today in an effort to stop cuts to registered
nursing positions and nursing care hours that threaten patient care.
    "Registered nursing hours are being slashed across this province as
health-care facilities attempt to balance their budgets on the backs of nurses
and the patients who need them," says Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, ONA President.
"Ontarians need to understand the implications of these cuts - and they
include serious risks to their health."
    The 'Cutting Nurses, Cutting Care' campaign launches today with radio
spots airing in Toronto, Hamilton, Kingston, Windsor, Ottawa, London, Sudbury,
Timmins, North Bay and Thunder Bay.
    The ads ask listeners how long they're willing to risk their health and
urge them to take action to stop cuts that will damage the quality of health
care. To inform Ontarians about the cuts and their implications, ONA has
created a new website - In addition to facts
about the cuts, the nursing shortage and risks to patient care, the site also
features a way for visitors to easily e-mail their MPP. By entering their
postal code, Ontarians can easily urge politicians to stop nursing cuts.
    "Every RN position cut represents the equivalent of 1,950 hours of
nursing care," notes Haslam-Stroud. "Every patient added to an average RN's
workload increases the risk of complications and death by 7 per cent. Cutting
nurses is knowingly risking our patients' health and lives, and this is
totally unacceptable."
    ONA has received notices of hundreds of cuts to RN positions, and expects
the numbers to balloon as Ontario health-care facilities grapple with
balancing their budgets.
    "Balancing budgets on the backs of RNs will cost the system more in the
long run - and may cost patients their lives," she says. "Ontarians need to
get involved in saving their health care, and this campaign is designed to
make it easy for them to do so. As more nurses disappear, so does the quality
of Ontario's health care."

    ONA is the union representing 54,000 registered nurses and allied health
professionals working in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health,
the community, clinics 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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