140 registered nurses and nursing students – the leadership of
Together, registered nurses sent a strong message to MPPs to:
Many other topics were discussed, from nursing education and employment for new graduates to the need for a provincial breastfeeding strategy to preventing workplace violence.
Not surprisingly, the serious state of the economy came up a number of times. This is why we are writing to you today. Nurses must not be used again as pawns in government budget-cutting.
There’s no question difficult choices need to be made. We have just witnessed a federal budget that goes into deep deficit to fund infrastructure projects to stimulate the economy, and we can expect similar initiatives in the upcoming provincial budget. However, the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care told registered nurses last week that the promised hiring of 9,000 additional nurses would be delayed till 2012, perhaps even 2013…as a result of the “budget reality”.
RNs know the real “budget reality” is that hiring additional nurses is a smart investment in the infrastructure of our public health care system. Delaying the hiring of 9,000 additional nurses risks losing nurses when the health care system needs them the most. It has a negative impact on patient care. It also sends a most damaging signal to the nursing workforce, to new nursing graduates and to potential nursing students. The present and future health of Ontarians, the efficient functioning of the health care system and the sustainability of the nursing profession require investing in nursing now.
Last week, the Minister heard the powerful experiences of nurses working in all sectors -- rural hospitals, urban centers, nursing homes, community health centers and correctional facilities. All of the stoires you shared had a common theme, that delaying the hiring of additional nurses and allowing layoffs, will exacerbate the existing shortage. This is simply – unacceptable! If the McGuinty government wants to take us back to the hula hoop era of Mike Harris they've it wrong! Nurses have a voice that trumpets truth to power. And, our collective voice MUST be heard NOW!
Here is what we need you to do
Write a letter to Premier Dalton McGuinty through our website. You can send our sample letter as is or modify it as you wish. A copy of your letter will be sent automatically to Finance Minister Dwight Duncan and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care David Caplan. Please make sure to sign your name and RN title at the bottom of the letter.