Urge Premier Wynne to move forward with needed health system improvements
RNAO’s position as a health system influencer was evident in the recently-delivered mandate letter Premier Kathleen Wynne delivered to Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins, after MPPs returned to the legislature following prorogation earlier this month. The government’s agenda includes realizing a commitment to authorize registered nurses (RN) to independently prescribe medication; something RNAO has called for since 2012. When implemented, this scope of practice enhancement will further assist RNs to meet the government and RNAO’s mutual desire to improve timely access to health services.
The words co-ordination, integration and health system navigation are present throughout the minister’s mandate letter. These are core policy principles that RNAO has been talking about since the release of our 2012 health system transformation roadmap Enhancing Community Care for Ontarians (ECCO). RNs and nurse practitioners (NP) are essential to getting the system where it needs to be for the benefit of Ontarians. RNAO is pleased to see that the minister is mandated to invest in long-term care staffing, including the creation of new RN and NP positions. Doing so will enrich the provision of resident care and when fully realized, will hopefully change our status as the province with the worst RN-to-population ratio in the country.
Although not within the mandate letter, RNAO has also been assured that there will be movement in correcting a significant patient safety gap: finally authorizing NPs to prescribe controlled substances. There is also good news for NPs on the compensation front. At RNAO's board of directors meeting on September 23, Deputy Minister Dr. Bob Bell shared that the government is imminently moving ahead with its commitment to raise compensation for primary care NPs be retroactive to April 1, 2016. RNAO is especially pleased with this news because it has been a top priority for the association for several years. Bell also agreed with our board that patients classified as having tertiary or quaternary needs who are in acute care hospitals require RN care, as do most cancer patients in acute care hospital. Despite all this good news, there is more work that remains to be done. And RNAO will continue to represent the interest of RNs, NPs and nursing students -- in critical discussions with the government and system leaders -- to move healthy public policy to better serve Ontarians. This action alert gives you a chance to express your gratitude, while making sure the government delivers on the priorities facing nursing and our health system.
Here is what we need you to do:
Sign the action alert below addressed to Hon. Kathleen Wynne, Ontario Premier.
Copies will also be sent to:
- Hon. Minister Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
- Patrick Brown, Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario
- Andrea Horwath, Leader of the New Democratic Party of Ontario
- Jeff Yurek, PC Critic – Health and Long-Term Care
- France Gélinas, NDP Critic – Health and Long-Term Care
Share this action alert with your family, friends, neighbours, and networks urging them to sign.