Moratorium on layoffs of front-line health-care workers is good news for patients
TORONTO, May 24, 2018 /CNW/ - The president of Canada's largest nurses' union welcomed an announcement by Andrea Horwath to hire 4,500 new nurses across the province during the first year in office of an Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP) government.
"This is an important step towards restoring the quality of care and protecting the safety of patients in our province's hospitals and long-term care homes," said ONA President Vicki McKenna, RN, a nurse from the day surgery unit of London Health Sciences Centre. "There is a mountain of evidence that shows care provided by Registered Nurses (RNs) means better outcomes, higher patient satisfaction, as well as reduced complications and re-admissions. More RNs will improve care and save money."
Ontario nurses are also encouraged by the NDP commitment to develop a provincial health-care staffing plan, a policy that ONA has long called for.
"It's important to remember that the only way to reduce wait times is to fund the hiring of more front-line RNs. The same goes for new beds – RNs are needed to appropriately care for the acutely ill patients in those beds."
The announcement from the NDP follows the release of alarming new data by ONA earlier this month, making the public aware of the 10,000 RN positions that Ontario hospitals are currently keeping vacant to cut costs. ONA is calling on all political parties to commit to hiring a minimum of 2,500 new RNs per year over the next four years and to fill the RN vacancies in Ontario hospitals.
For the second year in a row, Ontario has the lowest RN-to-population ratio in Canada and 19,126 RNs need to be hired to catch up to the average ratio of RNs caring for patients in the rest of the country.
"The NDP commitment to a moratorium on layoffs at the bedside will improve the number of highly-trained RNs to meet the needs of Ontario's patients," said McKenna.
ONA is keeping its members informed about health care and nurse staffing commitments made by the political parties throughout the election campaign. Our platform comparison can be found on the website http://nursesvote.ona.org
ONA is the union representing more than 65,000 RNs and health-care professionals, as well as 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.
SOURCE Ontario Nurses Association