TORONTO, Oct. 17, 2014 /CNW/ - The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) is encouraged by plans announced by Ontario Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins to employ all appropriate precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of Ontario's nurses.
"The late Justice Campbell recommended a precautionary approach, and we are strongly of the view that all safety measures must be in keeping with his recommendations." Campbell demanded adherence to the precautionary principle (err on the side of caution) as the overriding factor to ensure safe work environments for those providing care to Ontarians.
"ONA is pleased to hear that occupational health and safety standards will guide the work of the government," Said ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "The Minister will lead the team to ensure all the appropriate components of the plan are in place. These include oversight, appropriate personal protective equipment, training, testing, staffing and safe work environments. The Ministry will also provide the necessary funding for these measures to protect health care workers to the maximum extent possible. All of these components are critical for success."
Haslam-Stroud says the designation of certain Ontario hospitals as Ebola treatment centres was one of the best practices that was employed during the SARS crisis. "The designated hospitals will provide special isolation units that are necessary to properly treat patients while keeping workers and the public safe."
"The acuity and complexities of caring safely for each Ebola patient will require a minimum of two RNs – which we are also pleased to see is part of the plan," she said.
"ONA is committed to working with our employers and the government to avoid repeating the recent mistakes made in Dallas, Texas," said Haslam-Stroud. "The safety of Ontario's nurses is totally dependent on the successful implementation of the plan and the government, along with employers, listening to the concerns of nurses. The patients and nurses of Ontario deserve no less."
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 facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.
SOURCE: Ontario Nurses' Association
For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association: Sheree Bond, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2430; cell: (416) 986-8240; [email protected]; Katherine Russo, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2214; cell: (647) 539-1925; [email protected]