TORONTO, June 27, 2019 /CNW/ - The ratio of registered nurses per capita in Ontario remains the lowest in the country for the fourth year in a row, continuing to put the quality of care for the province's patients at risk, says the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA).
A report released today by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) on registered nurses (RNs) in Canada shows that the province of Ontario continues to be in last place in the RN-to-100,000 population ratio.
"Ontario continues to risk the care of our patients by not adequately staffing health-care facilities with RNs," said ONA President Vicki McKenna, RN. "It is inexcusable that this province has fewer RNs per population than any other province in the country, especially with the overwhelming evidence that increased RN staffing improves patient outcomes and provides savings to the health-care system."
"For Ontario to reach the average RN staffing ratio in Canada, the province would need to hire 20,147 RNs," noted McKenna. "In 2018, Ontario had just 690 RNs per 100,000 Ontarians, compared to the Canadian average of 831. Newfoundland and Labrador, by contrast, has the best ratio with 1,123 RNs per 100,000 residents."
McKenna said the overwhelming evidence shows that for every extra patient added to an RN's workload, the rate of patient complications and even death rises by seven per cent. Patient complications include blood clots, bedsores, pneumonia, sepsis and failure to rescue.
"The benefits of RN care are well-studied and well-known," she says. "There is no excuse for Ontario to be in this dismal position, and I urge Ontarians to insist their MPPs demand quality RN care throughout this province. They deserve no less."
ONA is the union representing 65,000 registered nurses, nurse practitioners, registered practical nurses and allied health professionals, as well as more than 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, family health teams, community health centres, the community, clinics and industry.
SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association