SIMCOE, ON, June 17, 2019 /CNW/ - The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit's decision to no longer fill vacant staff positions has resulted in cancelled services, and workload challenges for nurses.
"The Ford government's announced intent to cut public health funding and plans to merge health units next year has not only thrown these employers into uncertainty, but left thousands of Ontarians paying the price," says Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) President Vicki McKenna, RN. "This health unit has five vacant positions – the equivalent of a 15-per-cent loss of nursing positions – and has cancelled all Nurse Practitioner services."
The health unit has decreased both nursing hours and the number of nurses providing school health programs, community health, infectious diseases, sexual health and vaccine-preventable disease services.
"Time and time again, the research has shown just how valuable the work of public health is in keeping communities healthy and well, and saving the health-care system money by preventing illness and outbreaks," says McKenna. "While the future is uncertain, the needs of the community for quality public health services have not stopped and it is foolish to cut the vital services our nurses provide."
ONA urges this health unit to fill those vacant positions and provide the level of public health services its community needs and deserves.
ONA is the union representing more than 65,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as 18,000 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: Sheree Bond, (416) 986-8240; [email protected]