Registered Nurses Thank London Community: Cancelled cancer care nursing cuts
are thanks to public support

LONDON, ON, July 2 /CNW/ - The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) credits the cancellation of cuts to registered nurses at London Health Sciences Centre's cancer care program, in large part, to the determination of the community.

ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN says she is heartened that the cuts have been stopped, and credits not only the London RNs' efforts to find savings, but the unprecedented public outcry of the community.

"ONA has been tracking RN cuts for the past year, and we're up to a total of more than 2,250," she noted. "While there has been public outcry about cuts elsewhere, we've not seen the very impressive mobilization of community members like we did in London. This community is incredibly passionate about their health care and was able to apply pressure on officials."

London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) had announced it would cut eight nurses in its Regional Cancer Program. London residents started Facebook groups, on-line petitions, wrote letters to the media, their elected officials and hospital administrators, and attended an Open Forum in March organized by the RNs.

Their efforts - in addition to the efforts of LHSC's dedicated registered nurses - resulted in the hospital announcing earlier this week that the cuts had been cancelled.

"The efforts of the community and of the nurses are a lesson to the rest of the province," says Haslam-Stroud. "The announcement of RN cuts has a direct impact on the outcome of every Ontarians' health, and I encourage everyone in our communities to take an interest in what's happening in their own backyard. Don't just let these cuts happen at your local hospital or other facility - stand up for quality health care like they've done in London."

Haslam-Stroud believes our health care facilities continue to be at risk of allowing quality health care to decline as administrators grapple with budget deficits. While pleased at the outcome in London, she believes more cuts may be announced in the future.

The Ontario Nurses' Association is the union representing 55,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals and more than 12,000 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: For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association: Sheree Bond, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2430 or Cell: (416) 926-8240; Ken Marciniec, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2306

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