Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

Government and hospitals must find immediate solution to news of nursing cuts

Government and hospitals must find immediate solution to news of nursing cuts

TORONTO, April 8, 2008 – Ontario’s nurses say a plan to cut nursing positions at Rouge Valley Health System is bad for patients and bad for staff morale. The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) says the public should be very wary of any hospital that thinks it can offer safe patient care with fewer nurses.

“The news from Rouge Valley Health System is having a chilling effect on the nursing community. In the midst of a nursing shortage, we need to retain those nurses who are already in Ontario’s health-care system,” says RNAO President Mary Ferguson-Pare. “We expect the government to immediately address the challenges facing Rouge Valley or any other hospital in a similar predicament.”

Ferguson-Pare was responding to reports that more than 70 nursing positions could be eliminated at the Rouge Valley Health System because the health-care facility is struggling to balance its books.

Doris Grinspun, RNAO’s Executive Director, pointed to last fall’s study by the
the Canadian Institute for Health Information, which showed Rouge Valley had the fifth highest mortality rate among hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area.

Grinspun says there is a direct link between hours of RN care and patients’ clinical outcomes, including complication and death rates. “You don’t solve an issue as serious as this by cutting the number of RNs on staff. You do the opposite.”

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses wherever they practise in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied 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.


For more information, please contact:
Marion Zych, Director of Communications, RNAO
Phone: 416-408-5605
Toll free: 1-800-268-7199 ext.209
Cell: 647-406-5605