CAMPBELLFORD, ON, Oct. 6, 2022 /CNW/ - The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) is warning that patient care – already tenuous due to the province's severe nursing shortage – is being further imperiled following the announcement of cuts to registered nurses (RN) at Campbellford Memorial Hospital.
"It is stunning that any hospital in this province would even contemplate cutting the precious few RNs we have left," says ONA President Cathryn Hoy, RN. "There are no words to describe how outrageous this decision is. These cuts will harm the residents of this community and have far-reaching impacts for neighbouring health-care facilities, such as Peterborough Regional Health Centre. Where is the government and why is this being allowed to happen?"
Campbellford Memorial Hospital has informed ONA that it is cutting several RN positions from its medical-surgical unit early next year. Currently, just two of the four positions are filled due to challenges in recruiting and retaining RNs. The hospital cites a lack of base funding to staff the unit as the reason for the cuts. ONA has already been raising concern about the very heavy patient loads – one RN caring for up to 30 patients – in this unit.
"The people of this province have been told that care is there when they need it by this government," says Hoy. "Yet it's failing to provide the base funding needed to staff the beds so desperately needed by Ontarians. Clearly, it's time the government provided adequate funding to our health-care system, make every effort to retain existing nurses and recruit new nurses and health-care professionals. Everyone's health depends on it."
Hoy also points out that the hospital has recently signed contracts with private, for-profit nursing agencies to provide staffing – at a much higher cost. The hospital recently posted a warning on its website that patients should expect long wait times as its emergency department is experiencing unprecedented volumes. "Plain common sense would suggest that the first step to solve a nursing shortage is to retain the nurses you have, not cut their jobs," says Hoy. "If people hope to access healthcare, it is vital that they make their voices heard and speak out to their local MPP."
ONA is the union representing more than 68,000 nurses and health-care professionals, as well as 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, industry and clinics.
SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association
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