Ontario Nurses' Association Launches Television Ads: Campaign pushes to save patient care

    TORONTO, Feb. 23 /CNW/ - The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA), the union
representing 54,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals, is
launching the next phase of a new ad campaign today in an effort to stop cuts
to registered nursing positions and nursing care hours that threaten patient
    Television ads will begin airing today that are intended to educate
Ontarians of the serious consequences of cutting registered nursing positions
and hours of care. The Cutting Nurses, Cutting Care television commercials
will air across the province; as well, transit shelter ads and billboards will
run Cutting Nurses, Cutting Care ads in numerous cities across Ontario.
    "Registered nursing hours are being slashed across this province as
health-care facilities attempt to balance their budgets on the backs of nurses
and the patients who need them," says Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, ONA President.
"Ontarians understand the implications of these cuts - and they include
serious risks to their health.
    "Every RN position cut represents the equivalent of 1,950 hours of
nursing care," says Haslam-Stroud. "Every patient added to an average RN's
workload increases the risk of complications and death by 7 per cent. Cutting
nurses is knowingly risking our patients' health and lives."
    She adds that a new poll shows that 83 per cent of Ontarians surveyed
oppose cutting registered nursing jobs and nursing hours to balance
health-care facility budgets. ONA has received notices of hundreds of cuts to
RN positions, and expects the numbers to balloon as Ontario health-care
facilities grapple with balancing their budgets.
    "We know that Ontarians strongly disagree with RN positions being cut,"
says Haslam-Stroud. "Now the challenge is to prompt people to take action - to
send a message to the government that health care is too important to all of
us to erode quality care. We hope that people will be inspired to visit our
new campaign website and send an e-mail to their MPP to say, 'stop the cuts'."
    The website - www.cuttingnursescuttingcare.ca - features facts about the
cuts, the nursing shortage and risks to patient care, and makes it easy for
people to e-mail their MPP. By entering their postal code, Ontarians can
easily urge politicians to stop the nursing cuts that risk patients' lives.

    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; Melanie Levenson, (416)
964-8833, ext. 2369

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