Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

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Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) statement on government announcement of Sept. 28 on SIS and OPS

2018-09-28

TORONTO – Sept. 28, 2018 – "We are troubled by the delay in announcing the outcome of the government's review of supervised injection services (SIS) and overdose prevention services (OPS).

For nurses, the decision is simple. The evidence demonstrates that SIS and OPS sites save lives and in the midst of an epidemic, we need to ensure that these services are available in every community that needs them.

The city of London is an example of what is at stake. It was the first city in the province allowed to operate a sanctioned OPS site. Since opening its doors in February, nurses and outreach workers have supervised more than 7,000 injections and there have been no deaths due to overdose. In August alone, workers at the site were able to reverse 23 overdoses. In addition, staff members have connected 150 clients to addiction treatment services since they began operating.

RNs and NPs are integral to this work and want to hear that the government is committed to saving lives. Opioid poisoning resulted in the deaths of 1,261 people across this province in 2017.

SIS and overdose prevention services are a critical and necessary part of a comprehensive response to substance use.

As part of RNAO's advocacy on this issue, 2,600 nurses, other health professionals and members of the public have written letters to Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott imploring them to continue supporting and funding these services. We urge them to heed this advice."

RNAO is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing students in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses' contribution to shaping the healthcare system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve. For more information about RNAO, visit RNAO.ca or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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To arrange an interview, please contact:

Marion Zych, Director of Communications, RNAO
Cell: 647-406-5605 / Office: 416-408-5605
Toll free: 1-800-268-7199 ext. 209
Email