More Nurse Practitioners for Ontario Long-Term Care a Start, But Not Enough, says Ontario Nurses’ Association

October 5, 2022

Toronto, ON, October 5, 2022 – The announcement made this morning by the Ontario government reiterating a commitment made a year ago to fund up to 225 additional Nurse Practitioners to work in provincial long-term care homes – while a start – will take three years to implement and is far too few to meet the needs of Ontario’s 627 long-term care homes, says Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) President Cathryn Hoy, RN.

Hoy says that “ONA has long urged this government to fund more full-time Nurse Practitioners (NPs) for long-term care, to bring their exceptional skills, education and knowledge and enable them to provide care to residents who are medically complex. While this is a start, the timelines can and should be accelerated to benefit residents.”

ONA’s recommendation to Ontario’s Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission states there should be at least one NP who is an employee of the home for every 120 residents, given the present acuity of Ontario residents.

Hoy adds that this government’s stated commitment to providing the right care in the right setting for patients is at odds with Bill 7, the government’s legislation to transfer alternate-level-of-care patients out of hospitals and into long-term care homes.

“ONA strongly opposes Bill 7,” says Hoy. “There are better solutions to address the health-care crisis than coercing patients into a long-term care home that may be far from their community and support networks. Every solution begins with a comprehensive plan to fix the serious nursing shortage, not more stop-gap measures. Without nurses, no sector of health care can properly function.”

Recent polling from Angus Reid shows that 53 per cent of those polled (1,002 respondents) consider moving patients out of acute care into long-term care to be a violation of patients’ rights.

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.


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