URGENT ACTION ALERT TO TORONTO MAYOR ROB FORD: RE-THINK DECISION, SAY YES TO PUBLIC HEALTH NURSES
June 23, 2011
This week, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford refused the province’s offer to pay for two public health nurses on the basis that “We have enough people in public health right now”.
Nurses find this deeply disturbing and offensive!
Mayor Ford is Wrong
First, the Mayor is wrong. Toronto needs public health nurses. One of the nurses would work on disease prevention with recent immigrants. The other would promote better health among the most vulnerable in our city. Clear evidence links care provided by registered nurses (RNs) in all sectors with better patient outcomes AND reductions in cost. Put simply, hiring new public health nurses is a good deal.
No Cost to the City
Second, there is no extra cost to the city. Permanently. These two nurses would come from the 9,000 additional nurses promised and budgeted for by the provincial government. They will be hired and they will work somewhere."We support this significant investment in public health nursing", Jo-Ann Tober, President, Association of Nursing Directors and Supervisors in Official Health Agencies in Ontario (ANDSOOHA). But Mayor Ford wants to deny communities in dire need in Toronto of the expertise of two registered nurses, even when it costs him no money. Mayor Ford is wrong and his decision makes no sense.
Public health nurses worked around the clock leading efforts against the H1N1 pandemic. When Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) spread across the globe in 2002-2003, killing 44 Canadians and causing illness in hundreds more, and taking a particularly high toll among health care workers, public health nurses worked collaboratively with other public health professionals to lead the emergency and disaster response. Every day, public health nurses throughout the province are at the forefront of health protection and promotion, disease and injury prevention, reducing health inequities, and reducing the costs of a system too often focused on illness rather than well-being.
Evidence, not Ideology must prevail in all decisions; especially decisions affecting the health of a city’s residents.
If it’s not about health and better patient outcomes, and it’s not about cost, then it’s about ideology. That’s offensive. The people of Toronto deserve better from their leaders. Tell Mayor Ford to re-think the decision not to accept the province’s offer. Say yes to public health nurses for Toronto!
What Can You Do?
It’s not too late, the Toronto Councillors can still vote for public health nurses. But they need to hear from YOU, TODAY.
Just send the letter below. It will be copied automatically to the Mayor and all the other Toronto Councillors. And please don’t forget to forward this to friends, family and co-workers!