The Ontario Nurses Association (ONA) has expressed its approval of the federal government’s commitment to provide funding in a new health care agreement for the province of Ontario. They welcome this funding as a much-needed addition to the public health system. However, they question whether the Ford government will direct funds where they are most needed – to invest in the public system, rather than in for-profit private corporations. ONA President Erin Ariss, RN, also notes that the brutal truth is that the provincial government has withheld existing funds from Ontario’s public treasury system.
Despite repeated misstatements by Health Minister Sylvia Jones that Ontario has added 80,000 new nurses, Ontario still has the fewest RNs per capita in Canada. Ariss adds that if there are so many new nurses, why is Ontario seeing hundreds of emergency departments still have to close due to nursing shortages? The Premier has raved about shovels being dug into the ground and clinics performing procedures, all of which fail to improve what is happening across the province when it comes to the access to the system that our patients need and deserve.
The union representing more than 68,000 registered nurses and health care professionals, as well as 18,000 nursing student associations in Ontario continues to speak out and demand real accountability and improvements to the public system. With over 93% of its members working directly with patients, ONA is committed to ensuring that patients receive high-quality care and access to services they need. They will continue their efforts towards advocating for better resources and support for healthcare workers across the province.