Ontario Nurses’ Association calls for urgent action to address nursing crisis, as Premier of Ontario meets with Maritime counterparts

August 22, 2022

Toronto, ON, August 22, 2022 – The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) calls on the federal and provincial governments to actively collaborate to enhance the public health-care systems and invest in nurse retention and recruitment. The call comes as Ontario Premier Doug Ford meets with his Maritime counterparts to discuss health care today.

“While the government of Ontario announced significant private health-care initiatives last week, the evidence is clear: health-care privatization results in worse health outcomes to our patients, is more costly and diverts nurses and health-care staff from our public system,” notes ONA President Cathryn Hoy, RN. “Ontario nurses are calling for all federal funding to be specifically earmarked to public health care and public delivery.”

Ontario continues to have the lowest nurse-per-capita ratio in Canada. Ontario would require at least 22,000 more working RNs just to reach the national average. “Ontario is losing front-line nurses every day, some of whom are going to other provinces,” says Hoy. “Ontario must hold on to the nurses that are currently working within our province. As a first step, one surefire way is to repeal Bill 124, so that nurses receive the wages they fairly negotiate.”

Hoy adds, “Developing a robust federal/provincial health human resources strategy to retain and recruit nurses must be on the table at the Premiers’ Summit. Ontario cannot afford to lose any more front-line nurses or divert staff from our public health care into private clinics. ONA has the solutions, and we are happy to work with our federal and provincial partners to retain our nurses.”

ONA is the union representing more than 68,000 registered 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, clinics and industry.