Submission to the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills
November 22, 2006
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional organization for registered nurses who practice in all roles and sectors across Ontario. Our mandate is to advocate for healthy public policy and for the role of nursing in shaping and delivering health services. RNAO is pleased to present this submission on Bill 124, the Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act, to the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills.
As regulated professionals, Ontario RNs support regulatory colleges’ essential role in maintaining and enhancing professional standards, and in protecting the public interest. At the same time, public interest and simple justice demand that all qualified professionals have access to registration in a timely and fair basis. All too often, however, internationally-trained professionals face significant barriers to qualifying for registration in Ontario. RNAO applauds the proposed measures in this Bill to ensure that registration practices are transparent, objective, impartial, and fair. We ask that you ensure that these measures can be realized efficiently while maintaining standards and protecting the public.
RNAO supports the right of nurses who choose to come to Ontario to practice their profession, and we support measures to help them integrate into our health-care system. However, we strongly oppose international recruitment of nurses or other health-care professionals as a government health human resources strategy. In our view, it is unethical to “poach” nurses from other jurisdictions, particularly those with shortages and acute health-care needs.
Bill 124 takes a number of steps in the right direction, and RNAO has a series of recommendations for strengthening the Bill.