My name is Kim Jarvi and I am the acting director of nursing and health policy with the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO), the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners and nursing students in Ontario.
RNAO always presents at pre-budget hearings because the budget makes the most important decisions affecting health and the health system. That, in turn, affects the places where nurses work and their ability to positively influence health outcomes. Nurses urge the government to spend the right amount of money and to spend it in the right areas. Our experience tells us to take an upstream approach and invest in keeping people well, so we can avoid the much larger costs of dealing with consequences – the increased morbidity and mortality, human suffering, lost productivity, the costs of patching people up when they suffer illness and injury. If the government implemented a health-in-all-policies approach, we would not only have a healthier society, but also a healthier economy and a healthier budget balance.