Nurses urge Ontario government to reverse decision that would end access to funded health-care services for vulnerable people

March 28, 2023

Nurses are urging the Ontario government to reverse a decision that is set to end access to funded health-care services for people without an OHIP card.

The ministry of health announced last week it would be shutting down a program that has provided access to primary care and hospital care to uninsured persons. This decision goes into effect March 31. On that day, people without insurance coverage will no longer be able to rely on getting care at a hospital or some community-based settings – care options they have had access to since March 2020.

“Denying necessary health-care services to those who are most in need is unconscionable. People who are homeless, migrant workers and others will see their health worsen,” argues Dr. Doris Grinspun, RNAO’s CEO, adding “this decision has the potential to lead to devastating complications for people who are ill. How can any government leave vulnerable people to fend for themselves?”

RNAO’s President Dr. Claudette Holloway says, “This is not the action one expects from their government. Universal access to care is a hallmark of our health system and part of our country’s social fabric. Nurses are committed to providing compassionate care for all, not just those with insurance. We need to ensure the health system people depend on is there for everyone.”

RNAO is calling on the government to ensure continued access to health services for those who are uninsured.

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 we serve. For more information about RNAO, visit or follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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Contact info

Marion Zych
Director of Communications
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO)