New Poll Shows Ontarians Disagree with Nursing Cuts: 83 per cent oppose RN job cuts, nursing hour reductions

    TORONTO, Feb. 13 /CNW/ - The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA), the union
representing 54,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals, has
released a new poll that shows that 83 per cent of Ontarians polled oppose
cutting registered nursing jobs and nursing hours to balance health-care
facility budgets.
    "Ontarians know that we are suffering through a nursing shortage," says
Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, ONA President. "Our front-line nurses are striving to
provide quality care, but they need help. With the recent wave of registered
nursing cuts and cuts to nursing hours, the province is further eroding health
care resulting in increased risks to patients' health."
    Haslam-Stroud says research has clearly established that, "every extra
patient added to an average RN's workload results in a 7-per-cent increased
risk of patients experiencing complications or even death. Ontarians have made
it clear they object."
    Poll results also show that Premier Dalton McGuinty has not convinced
Ontarians that his government's plan to delay keeping its promise to hire
9,000 more nurses due to the economic downturn is the right one.
    The survey, conducted by Vector Polling last month and sampling 400
Ontarians, shows that:

    - 83 per cent of those polled oppose reducing registered nursing jobs or
      hours of nursing care in hospitals.

    - Nine out of 10 people polled expect the delay in hiring more nurses
      will result in longer ER wait times and longer waits for non-emergency

    - 75 per cent of those polled believe that patients recovering from
      surgery will experience more complications because of the hiring delay;

    - 77 per cent of those polled believe that the uncertain economic
      conditions as a reason for delaying the hiring of 9,000 nurses due to
      uncertain economic conditions is very bad/bad;

    - Eight in 10 people polled believe their community hospitals won't be
      ready for a natural disaster;

    The results show that Ontarians continue to care deeply about cuts to
health care, says Haslam-Stroud. ONA has just launched a new public awareness
campaign to help Ontarians voice their disapproval of the hundreds of
thousands of hours of registered nursing are now being slashed as health-care
facilities work to balance their budgets.
    "The government would be wise to listen to taxpayers," she says. "We all
want our tax dollars spent wisely during these tough economic times, but
cutting nurses and cutting care is not wise for anyone. Anyone who wants to
speak out can visit and send an e-mail to
their MPP."

    ONA is the union representing 54,000 registered nurses and allied health
professionals working in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health,
the community, clinics and industry. ONA is celebrating 35 years of nursing
advocacy - a proud past, a powerful future.

For further information:

For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association, Sheree Bond, (416)
964-8833, ext. 2430, Cellular: (416) 986-8240

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Ontario Nurses' Association

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