MEDIA STATEMENT – Ontario Nurses Association deeply disturbed by government privatization announcement

Says no initiative will urgently solve nursing crisis

TORONTO, August 18, 2022 /CNW/ – The Ontario Nurses Association (ONA) is deeply troubled by the series of health care announcements made today by the government outlining major plans for privatization, including the performing thousands of surgeries in private hospitals.

“It’s a blatant gesture that will fill the pockets of investors, nothing more”, notes the president of the ONA Cathryn Hoy, RN “The evidence is clear: privatizing health care leads to worse health outcomes for our patients and results in much higher overhead costs that will be paid for by taxpayers. Ontario sinks into a privatization that will only benefit the shareholders.”

Hoy also notes, “Today’s government announcement is nothing more than moving deck chairs on the Titanic. Placing patients in “vacant” long-term care beds and “alternative health facilities” is another disaster that awaits. As we have seen in the past For more than two years, our long-term care system has been fraught with challenges, including nurse and caregiver staffing. Adding more patients and residents will only create further chaos.

“Sending frail patients to long-term care facilities that are not in their community will cause more harm than good. These patients need the support and dedication of their family and caregivers. If patients are hundreds of miles from loved ones, they may succumb to significant emotional stress.”

It is also surprising that the government specifically outlined an initiative to support emergency department doctors, but there was nothing on nurses. “Dozens of emergency departments have been closed in recent weeks due to a shortage of nurses. The government has missed a huge opportunity here to bolster nurses’ pay as a key to retention and recruitment to curb further closures. Many physicians expressed support for increasing nurses’ compensation as a strategy. Again the government ignored the nurses,” Hoy said.

The ONA is the union that represents more than 68,000 registered nurses and health professionals, and 18,000 affiliated nursing students, who provide care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, community, clinics and industry.

SOURCE Ontario Nurses Association

For further information: Katherine Russo, [email protected]647-539-1925

Andrew B. Reiter