TORONTO, May 10, 2012 – The health-care needs of Ontario will be better served by news that 900 nursing positions are being added to the system, according to the professional body representing RNs in the province. The announcement was made Thursday by Health Minister Deb Matthews during Nursing Week.
“We’re delighted that many of these nursing positions will be allocated to long-term care homes and community-based nursing care,” says Rhonda Seidman-Carlson, President of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO).
Seidman-Carlson says the government is acting on advice RNAO provided to the Ministry of Health to devote more resources to meet the care needs of people living with chronic illnesses and the elderly so they have support in managing chronic care conditions and can remain at home. “This is what the Drummond report recommended and what RNAO has been saying all along because it’s a more effective and efficient way of delivering care to the people who need it most,” adds Seidman-Carlson.
Doris Grinspun, RNAO’s Chief Executive Officer, cautioned that “the government must ensure these additional 900 positions are RNs because Ontario is lagging behind the national average.” Grinspun says Ontario has 72.1 RNs for every 10,000 residents compared with 82.9 nationally, which makes Ontario’s rate the second lowest in Canada behind B.C. “We can’t afford to ignore the facts. If we don’t educate and hire more RNs now, Ontario will fall further behind and patient care will suffer,” says Grinspun.
The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario is the professional association representing registered nurses in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated 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.