WINDSOR, ON, Jan. 12, 2016 /CNW/ - Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, says that patients will pay the price following Windsor Regional Hospital's announcement that it will cut approximately 126 full-time registered nurse (RN) positions.
"I am deeply disappointed but not surprised to hear that yet more skilled, knowledgeable and dedicated registered nurses are being deleted from this hospital," said ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "Doing so flies in the face of the research showing the direct link between RN cuts and an increased risk of patients of suffering complications and even death."
Windsor Regional Hospital says the cuts, which will end its all-RN staffing at one site, comes after three years of a new government hospital funding formula that it says punishes it for being a slow-growth community. Details about which units will cut RNs are not yet available. Overall, the community is losing a quarter of a million hours of RN care per year.
"ONA and our highly educated RNs are concerned about the safety of care in this community," said Haslam-Stroud. "Nurses know that the hospital has opted to risk the health outcomes of our patients by cutting RNs to balance the budget."
She notes that, "the research and evidence show the devastating impact of RN cuts on patients and our ability to provide safe, high-quality care: excessive workloads, more complications, increased infections, higher morbidity and mortality rates and readmissions, longer wait times and poorer health outcomes. Ontario needs more RNs, not fewer. This government must implement a moratorium on RN cuts immediately for the sake of patient care."
Ontario continues to have the second-worst ratio of RNs to population in all of Canada. According to the latest statistics from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), Ontario has just 714 RNs per 100,000 population compared to an average of 836 per 100,000 for the rest of the country. This is a direct result of Ontario hospitals balancing their budgets at the expense of RN positions. Even worse, for the first time in 20 years, the supply of RNs has fallen.
Haslam-Stroud encourages Windsor residents to question their MPPs on where they stand on more RNs, and demand better, safer patient care – not cuts. Our patients deserve better.
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
For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association: Sheree Bond, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2430, cell: (416) 986-8240, [email protected]; Melanie Levenson, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2369, [email protected]; Visit us at: www.ona.org; Facebook.com/OntarioNurses; Twitter.com/OntarioNurses