Ontario Liberals Putting The 'Care' Back In Medicare

    Re-Elected McGuinty Liberals Will Hire 9,000 More Nurses, Improve
    Workplace Safety

    LONDON, ON, Sept. 26 /CNW/ - Only the Ontario Liberals will improve the
publicly funded health care Ontario families depend upon by hiring another
9,000 nurses in hospitals and long-term care homes, Premier Dalton McGuinty
announced today.
    "Ontario's nurses are an important part of publicly funded health care
for Ontarians - they're professionals who put the 'care' in medicare," said
Premier McGuinty, standing at centre ice at the 9,000-seat John Labatt Centre.
    "Over the next four years, we're going to add enough full-time nurses to
fill this place - another 9,000 nurses - so we can continue to strengthen the
public health care our families depend upon," said Premier McGuinty.
    The Harris Conservatives closed hospitals and fired 6,200 full-time
nurses after comparing them to hula-hoop makers.
    Under the Ontario Liberals, the number of nurses working full-time has
increased from 50 to 60 per cent. The Ontario Liberals also introduced the
province's first-ever job guarantee for new nursing grads and are on track to
hire 8,000 more nurses by the end of 2007.
    "The Harris Conservative government thought of nurses as 'efficiencies,'
but we see them as a key part of putting the 'care' back in medicare," said
McGuinty. "Working together, we've built a strong foundation, a stronger
health care system for patients, and better working conditions for nurses."
    Premier McGuinty announced the 2007 Ontario Liberal plan for improved
conditions for Ontario's nurses including:

    -  Hiring 9,000 more nurses (2,000 of which will be raising the level of
       care in long-term care homes)
    -  Meeting our goal to have 70 per cent of nurses working full time
    -  Continuing to guarantee jobs for new nursing graduates
    -  Investing in healthy work environments for nurses
    -  Establishing 25 more nurse practitioner-led clinics.

    "The McGuinty government has shown ongoing respect for registered
practical nurses by working together with us over the past four years. We have
seen significant improvements for nursing during this past term. However, the
issues in nursing continue to evolve, and so must the initiatives meant to
address them," said Monica Seawright, RPN, President of the Registered
Practical Nurses of Ontario.
    "We expect that the commitments to hire an additional 9,000 new nurses,
reach the goal of 70 per cent of nurses working full time and the continuation
of the New Graduate Full-Time Job Guarantee for new nurses will further
advance the important work needed to solve the nursing shortage in Ontario,"
Seawright said.
    "Our positive agenda is working to ensure that publicly funded, publicly
delivered health care is back on track, and steadily improving," said
McGuinty. "Only Ontario Liberals have the positive track record necessary to
further strengthen health care and keep moving Ontario forward."

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Ontario Liberal Party Media Relations, (416)
961-3800 Ext. 386

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