TORONTO, May 3, 2019 /CNW/ - With the provincial government making sweeping reforms to the health system, politicians from all parties will join registered nurses (RN) and nurse practitioners (NP) on the front lines to learn about what works, what needs improvement and the pivotal role nurses play in keeping Ontarians healthy.
The visits by elected representatives comes at a crucial time as Minister of Health and Long Term Care Christine Elliott re-shapes how health care is provided and how the health system is overseen. Those changes are intended to streamline access, break down silos and place the focus more squarely on the needs of patients.
Those laudable goals can be reached if the government follows the evidence and shifts 4,500 RN care co-ordinators to primary care, allow RNs and NPs to work to their full scope, requires hospitals to fill more than 10,000 RN vacancies, and stop replacing RNs with less qualified staff.
"For health system transformation to succeed, Ontario must increase the number of RNs, have them play a more fundamental role in primary care and unleash the full potential of RNs and NPs to promote health and care for those who are ill," says RNAO president Angela Cooper- Brathwaite. "RNs and NPs have the knowledge, experience and compassion to optimize people's health and outcomes,"
Elected representatives are taking part in Take Your MPP To Work, an initiative organized annually by the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO). They include Ontario Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek and NDP Health Critic France Gelinas. A list of planned visits is available, and will be updated, on RNAO's website.
The visits begin Nursing Week, May 6 – 12, and continue until the end of June, at destinations that range from a refugee health centre in Kitchener, a community health centre in Timmins, public health in Toronto and long-term care homes and hospitals across Ontario.
"RNs and NPs are the guardians of patients and the experts on delivering care on the frontlines," says Doris Grinspun, chief executive officer of RNAO, "Our members are excited to share with politicians insight into how we can make reforms that improves lives and saves dollars."
RNAO's Take Your MPP To Work event began in 2000. It has since grown to a province-wide initiative, which has drawn premiers, ministers of health, and politicians from all parties.
RNAO is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing students in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses' contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.
SOURCE Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario
For further information: To arrange interviews or for more information, please contact: Jonathan Sher, Senior Communications Officer and Writer, RNAO, Phone: (416) 599-1925 / 1-800-268-7199 ext. 250 (toll free), Cell: (647) 217-2689, jsher@RNAO.ca