MEDIA ADVISORY: Registered nurses call for clear targets and earmarked funding to improve the health of Ontario's citizens

    TORONTO, Jan. 25 /CNW/ - In a pre-budget submission on Monday, Ontario's
registered nurses will call on the McGuinty government to make good on their
election-campaign promises by introducing a budget that sets clear targets to
reduce poverty, and earmarks funding to hire more nurses.
    "The government has an opportunity here to make real progress in their
second mandate by improving the health, and health care, of all Ontarians,"
says Mary Ferguson-Pare, President of the Registered Nurses' Association of
Ontario. "Instead of being distracted by talk of an economic downturn, we need
the government to show leadership by investing in programs that keep people
healthy. Without that action now, we know we will pay more for health care
    Nurses are looking for hard targets on poverty: reducing the number of
people who don't have an adequate income by 25 per cent in five years, and 50
per cent within a decade. "The link between health and poverty is
irrefutable," Ferguson-Pare says. "The McGuinty government must take action
because, in a province as wealthy as Ontario, it's shameful that people need
to choose between putting food on the table or paying the rent."
    RNAO Executive Director Doris Grinspun says the government must also make
substantive investments in the nursing workforce: the hiring of 9,000 RNs by
2010; full-time work for 70 per cent of nurses; and establishing 25 nurse-led
clinics. "These priorities are critical to improving access to care for
people," Grinspun says. "The nursing community is gravely concerned with the
sharp slowdown in the number of RNs working in Ontario in the past two years."
    RNAO will also be calling on the government to end the use of
public-private-partnerships (P3s) to fund infrastructure projects like
building hospitals, and to end the competitive bidding process in home care.
The association says competitive bidding is flawed at its core and disrupts
the continuity of care patients receive.

    RNAO's complete budget submission will be available at

    WHO:   Doris Grinspun, RN, MSN, PhD (cand) O. Ont, Executive Director,
           Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

    WHAT:  Pre-budget submission presentation to the Standing Committee on
           Finance and Economic Affairs

    WHERE: Main Legislative Building, Queen's Park - Room 151

    WHEN:  Monday, Jan. 28, 2008, 9:30 a.m.

    Please note: Grinspun will be available to speak with reporters outside
Room 151 after her presentation to the Standing Committee.

    The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional
association representing registered nurses wherever they practise in Ontario.
Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied 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.

For further information:

For further information: Marion Zych, Director of Communications,
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, (647) 406-5605 (cellular phone)

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