THUNDER BAY, ON, June 21, 2016 /CNW/ - Patients will again pay the price when St. Joseph's Care Group's hospital site in Thunder Bay cuts 12 full-time registered nurses (RNs) and 14 part-time RNs in a variety of units.
"Our vulnerable, complex St. Joseph's patients are losing more than 40,000 hours of registered nurse hands-on care a year," notes Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "Quality patient care will be impacted throughout the hospital. RN care is being cut from the medically complex and intensive services floor, end-of-life/palliative care unit, geriatric assessment and rehabilitation unit, and the neurological rehab unit, where those who have suffered a stroke are rehabilitated," she said.
The cuts, says Haslam-Stroud, fly in the face of the evidence that shows that unstable, unpredictable hospital patients should receive care from registered nurses.
"These complex patients have unpredictable outcomes, which is exactly the kind of patients who require RN care," said Haslam-Stroud. "Once again, a hospital in Ontario is choosing to put the bottom line before patient care needs, and patients will suffer the consequences."
Ontario has seen more than 1,500 RNs cut from provincial hospitals since the beginning of 2015. The provincial government has been changing the way in which health care is delivered, leaving only the most complex and unstable patients in hospital beds. Yet the province has stood by silently as inadequate hospital funding and a new funding formula has resulted in budget deficits for dozens of hospitals. St. Joseph's Care Group is following dozens of other hospitals that have looked to the RN front lines to balance the bottom line with these RN cuts.
"ONA and a number of other organizations have been calling for the province to reverse the trend in nursing skill mix to return RNs to the role for which they are trained," says Haslam-Stroud. "Our patients deserve the best care and the care that is appropriate to their needs. It's time the province did so."
ONA is the union representing 60,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals, as well as more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.
SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association