Last week, more than 2,000 nurses sent a clear message to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford that he was WRONG to refuse the province’s offer to pay for two public health nurses on the basis that “We have enough people in public health right now.
In reply to the record response from nurses to a RNAO Action Alert, Mayor Ford pointed to higher costs over time, incremental administrative costs of managing new employees and how there is no “permanent” funding for staff in an “election year.”
As nurse practitioner Jacquelyn Lochhaas Gerlach wrote back to the Mayor, he is still wrong to make decisions not to hire public health nurses based on cost savings of the magnitude of cutting paper clips. The cost of ending the positions at some point in the future when funding runs out is minimal compared with the “opportunity cost of rejecting these positions.” Ms. Gerlach drew on her long history in health human resources research in telling the Mayor “the right hiring patterns actually reduce costs...”
In the case of the two public health nurse positions offered to Toronto, reducing chronic health problems through appropriate preventative care in the city has the potential to help control hospital, home care and long-term care costs in the face of pressure toward ever greater costs.”
Nurses such as Jacquelyn Lochhaas Gerlach recognize economic planning is more than a simple process of cutting, and one must look at the indirect consequences of cuts in the short, medium and long-term. Jo-Ann Tober, President of the Association of Nursing Directors and Supervisors in Official Health Agencies in Ontario (ANDSOOHA) echoes the widespread support for investing in public health nursing.
If you agree that Mayor Rob Ford is wrong to refuse the two public health nurse positions and that his decision to put ideology ahead of health and better patient outcomes is offensive, please click here to send an urgent letter to the Mayor and all City of Toronto Councillors.
If you have already contacted the Mayor and responded to the RNAO Action Alert, please do so again. Acceptance of the public health nurse positions has been deferred indefinitely. By sending a letter TODAY to the Mayor and Councillors you will urge them to put public health back on the agenda and VOTE FOR PUBLIC HEALTH NURSES.
Please send the letter below. It will be copied automatically to the Mayor and all the other Toronto Councillors. Don’t forget to forward this Action Alert to all your friends, family and co-workers!