– Mar. 26, 2009
– Nurses are disappointed that the budget unveiled by the McGuinty
government is a tax cut budget that doesn’t adequately address the health-care
needs of Ontarians. The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO)
says health care is not a sunny day expenditure that can be tossed aside during
times of recession.
understand that the province is in the midst of economic challenges and for
that reason, this is not the time to introduce tax cuts. Instead, the
government should have heeded the voices of nurses and not put us on the road
to a devastating nursing shortage. Nurses expected to see 3,000 additional
funded positions in this budget. The 900 positions announced will do little for
patient care and little to retain nurses in Ontario,”
says RNAO President Wendy Fucile.
says the McGuinty government’s effective and
successful Nursing Graduate Guarantee, which enables employers to hire new
graduates full-time for a six month period, may go to waste if only 900
positions are funded in the coming year. Fucile says: “In the midst of a
national and global shortage, can we afford to have Ontario’s
nursing graduates facing the same barriers to employment that nurses experienced
during the 90s?” She adds this budget sends the wrong message also to
senior nurses, who are already facing enormous workloads and stress, and whose
knowledge and expertise Ontario
is at risk of losing to early retirement.
association praises the government’s plan to move forward with funding of 22
additional Nurse Practitioner-led clinics, in addition to the three set to open
in 2009 in Belle River,
Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay.
“Thousands of people across this province lack access to primary care. Today’s
renewed commitment paves the way for them to receive care from a team of
health-care professionals led by nurse practitioners working in collaboration
with physicians, social workers, dieticians and others,” says Fucile.
welcomes the $7 billion dollars in infrastructure investment for hospital
construction but is gravely concerned that the government hasn’t learned the
lessons that public/private partnerships, otherwise known as P3s, cost more
than traditional models for building new hospitals. “Not only does this
make poor economic sense, the evidence shows it also reduces the quality of
services,” says Doris Grinspun,
Executive Director of RNAO.
is pleased with the bold steps announced today to address the human tragedy of
poverty in Ontario. Nurses know
the clear link between poverty and ill health and premature death. “Increases
in the Ontario Child Benefit, investments in affordable housing and the welcome
increase in social assistance rates will help ease the burden facing the 1.3
million people living in poverty in this province,” says Grinspun,
adding that nurses look forward to other essential steps to meet the province’s
goal of reducing poverty by 25 per cent over five years.
also welcomes the funding for green jobs. “Nurses have been at the forefront
advocating for environmental measures that will improve the health of
Ontarians, including green energy, reductions in toxins and carcinogens and a
ban on cosmetic pesticides,” adds Grinspun.
Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO)
is the professional association representing registered nurses wherever they practise in Ontario.
Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied for healthy
public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’
contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that
affect nurses and the public they serve.