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Why is Ontario cutting nurses and putting patient care at risk?

The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) launched a campaign seeking an end to Ontario’s cuts to registered nurses. The campaign features a TV ad (above) and the web site morenurses.ca.

“The Society strongly supports this campaign,” said President Scott Travers. “Nurses are critical to the health of the communities Society members live in, and ONA has been a vital ally of ours in the labour movement.”

Cuts to registered nurses (RNs) are the consequence of years of hospital funding lagging behind the rate of inflation and population growth. To pinch pennies, hospitals have turned to under-qualified workers and forced existing workers to take on excessive workloads. These measures mean there are 1,000 fewer nurses in our communities now than there were in 2012. With just seven RNs per 1,000 residents, Ontario has the second-lowest number of nurses in Canada.

Given Ontario’s increasing population and a growing number of seniors, the province needs more nurses, not less. That’s why The Society supports the call for an increase in base funding for hospitals, a moratorium on cuts to nurses, and a multi-year plan to hire more RNs.