The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) thanks the Auditor General of Ontario for issuing the special report on pandemic readiness and response in long-term care (LTC). In particular, RNAO appreciates the auditor general's efforts to fashion a report that will aid in the implementation of a number of long-standing, fundamental recommendations for improving health outcomes in Ontario's LTC sector. Regrettably, the report has been put before a government that has proven itself incapable of managing our health system and addressing the report's important findings and recommendations.
RNAO laments the conduct of a government that refuses to understand that matters of health and economic wellbeing go hand in hand. Ontario remains in the midst of a desperate yet preventable struggle to contain COVID-19 and its variants of concern and to keep our hospitals from collapsing. The government continues to ignore the advice of its science table. It stubbornly and callously refuses to close all non-essential services and help workers put food on the table, provide workers with adequate paid sick leave, and redirect all vaccines to essential workers and vulnerable communities. These are life-saving measures essential to ensure we don't further extend the third wave of this pandemic or worse, even enter a catastrophic fourth wave driven by newer and more dangerous COVID-19 variants.
The government continues to exploit the commitment and dedication of Ontario's health-care workers at great cost to their health and wellbeing. Doing so will continue to have dire consequences on the longer-term viability of an effective health system. On this National Day of Mourning, RNAO asks its 46,000 members to take a moment to mourn those workers -- including many health-care workers -- who have lost their lives over the past year and to commit to fight for each other and for workers across this province to ensure that no more lives are lost.
The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (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 health 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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