Ontario Independent

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Christine Elliott and Doug Ford have agreed to meet with nurses to discuss staffing shortages

Doug Ford and Christine Elliott have agreed to meet with nurses to discuss staff shortages

Key Takeaways:

  • Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott will meet with Ontario nurses next week to discuss staffing shortages.
  • The meeting takes place as the pandemic accelerates a long-term trend of nurses leaving the province or leaving the profession altogether due to a variety of factors.

Ontario nurses will meet with Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott next week to discuss staffing shortages.

On February 3, the meeting with Cathryn Hoy, provincial president of the Ontario Nurses Association (ONA), will occur. After the ONA announced on Twitter that the Ontario govt had declined a request for a meeting on Monday, a date was set for Tuesday.

According to Ivana Yelich, the premier’s spokesman, the meeting is an opportunity for the premier and minister to listen. She stated that they’d talk about “the situation on the ground” for nurses.

Hoy stated that she would like to discuss the acute nursing shortage in Ontario. The meeting takes place as the pandemic hastens a long-standing trend of nurses leaving the province or leaving the profession entirely due to various factors.

Also read: COVID has infected 3,861 people in Ontario hospitals, with 615 of them in critical care

“Every day, the numbers are dwindling. It’s also aggravating that the government isn’t willing to take action. It’s not going to be set in a day or two. It’s not the case. 

However, if we work together, we might be able to find some solutions “68,000 nurses and healthcare professionals, as well as 18,000 nursing student affiliates, are represented by Hoy’s organization.

“Every day, I talk to nurses who say things like, “I’m retiring, quitting, or changing careers.” We’re in serious trouble. I’ve never seen a situation as dire as this one, “she stated

“We’ve passed the tipping point.”

Hoy also stated that she would like to bring up the following issues:

  • Within the profession, there should be wage parity for nurses.
  • Nurses are being “casualized,” meaning they work part-time and need to work two jobs to make ends meet.
  • Bill 124, which limits wage increases for public employees such as nurses and teachers, has been repealed.
  • The education of recent graduates.
  • She suggested that retired registered nurses be brought back to assist new hires.

“I’m hoping this isn’t just a meeting to hear me say something because of social media pressures,” she said.

“Because we are losing healthcare professionals nearly every day, I hope it is truly an olive branch to listen as well as try to work together to find a solution. There will be no turning back at some point.”

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario’s CEO, Doris Grinspun, said the exodus of nurses is not new, but it has accelerated. 

She said that registered nurses from Ontario have gone to Nova Scotia, Alberta, and now the United States in large numbers. The problem, she said, is with compensation and workloads.

“I’m worried about my coworkers who are still in the system,” she said. “And I feel even worse for the patients because they’re receiving care from nurses who are overworked, and you can’t provide safe care when you’re overworked.”

Doug Ford and Christine Elliott have agreed to meet with nurses to discuss staff shortages
Doug Ford and Christine Elliott have agreed to meet with nurses to discuss staff shortages. Image from The Star

Work in Ontario is ‘underappreciated,’ according to a nurse.

After quitting her job as a registered practical nurse in Toronto, Emily Coffey, 24, left Ontario for a new opportunity and a change of pace. 

She now works as a licensed practical nurse in Victoria, British Columbia, relocated in January. She is employed as a travel nurse.

Coffey claims that she now has a better work-life balance and is fairly compensated for her abilities.

In March 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Coffey began working in emergency medicine at a Toronto hospital. Working throughout the pandemic, she said, was frustrating and difficult.

“Staff were sick when COVID was founded. Staff members’ families are sick, and you arrive at work to find that the patient care load has increased to an 8:1 ratio, which is extremely difficult for a new nurse or even a senior nurse to handle, “she stated.

“To be honest, patient care had deteriorated to the point of being dangerous. We have hallway medicine, and we have nurses who are simply burned out from working overtime because the hospital requires it, and you want to support your team, but it’s exhausting at the end of the day, “she stated

“My work was simply undervalued,” she explained.

Her message to the government of Ontario is as follows: “You must compensate your nurses appropriately. We are entitled to be compensated for our efforts.”

Source: CP24 News

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