RNAO’s ongoing media profile: The August 2023 report
This month, RNAO was featured in media stories related to the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s (CIHI) new report, as well as the need for the federal government to push back against for-profit care in Ontario and the rest of the country.
CIHI’s Aug. 2 report, Taking the pulse: A snapshot of Canadian health care, 2023, found that the majority of Canadians are having challenges accessing primary care and are experiencing increased wait times for surgeries and other procedures due to a shortage of health workers, especially nurses. In RNAO’s media release (Aug. 2) in response to the report’s findings, President Dr. Claudette Holloway said, “every minute we wait, the more patients are paying for it as the surgery backlog grows and nurses are leaving the profession.” On Aug. 3, Holloway told CTV News Kitchener that while Ontario has taken important steps for nurse recruitment, including increasing the number of nursing seats in universities, more must be done to retain nurses in this province. “Retention strategies must speed up to address the nursing crisis,” said Holloway. On Global News (Aug. 3), RNAO CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun said: “We will pay with lives and more nurses will leave the system if things don’t improve.” Grinspun also noted on 580 CFRA (Aug. 2) that there are several proposals with the provincial government for nurse practitioner-led clinics to help improve access to primary care in communities that need it most, such as Orillia, Peterborough and Ottawa. “The government has the solution here in Ontario at hand but they’re not implementing it. We are urging the Ontario government to free up the money,” Grinspun said.
In a letter to the editor published in the Globe and Mail (Aug. 17), Grinspun highlighted the need for the federal government to put a stop to the move towards for-profit health care. This letter was in response to a story about an increase in the number of Quebec physicians moving to the private system. “The federal government has the duty – and the capacity – to stop provinces from sliding toward two-tier health care,” Grinspun wrote.
In a letter to the editor published in the Toronto Star (Aug. 28), Grinspun mourns the tragic death of Karolina Huebner-Makurat and urges premier Doug Ford “to expand consumption services and treatment sites to increase access to care, improve health outcomes and save lives.”
RNAO will continue to speak out alongside its members on topics related to nursing and health. Check out more media coverage by regularly visiting RNAO in the news.