KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON, April 1, 2015 /CNW/ - Grand River Hospital will cut 15 full-time and four part-time registered nurses, a move the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) warns will put patient care at risk. These cuts are in addition to the 13 registered nurse positions and two nurse practitioner positions cut in the fall of 2014. That cut equated to a loss of 30,000 hours of RN and NP care for patients at the Grand River Hospital. The latest round of cuts brings the total hours of RN and NP care lost to 60,000 hours per year.
Hospitals across Ontario are in the process of cutting RN care hours for their patients in an attempt to balance their budgets, says ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "RNs and NPs are the last group of front-line health-care providers that any health-care facility should cut. Research has proven that RN care is vital for quality patient care, and cutting their positions is simply a false economy."
ONA is becoming increasingly concerned about the ability of hospital RNs and NPs to be able to provide safe, quality patient care as cuts continue.
"In the last couple of weeks alone, hospitals in Ottawa, Sudbury, Brockville, Newmarket and Cambridge have cut RN care," said Haslam-Stroud. "We are seeing the continuation of cuts to care that are seriously impacting our patients."
Research has shown that the risk of patients suffering from morbidity (complications) and mortality (death) rises by seven per cent each time another patient is added to an RN's workload.
"Cutting RNs puts patients at higher risk of suffering from ulcers, sepsis, bedsores, pneumonia, cardiac arrest and blood clots," said Haslam-Stroud. "Ontario already suffers from the second-worst RN-to-population ratio in all of Canada, and we seem to be in a race to the absolute bottom of the heap."
Haslam-Stroud urges the community to protest the cuts, both in Kitchener-Waterloo and across the province by sending a message to their local MPP or the Health Minister. "We need more RN and NP care, not less," she said. "It's up to each of us to fight for quality patient care."
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