Ontario Nurses’ Association says Ford Government’s Plan for “Convenience” is Missing Safety, Quality – and Nurses

February 2, 2023

TORONTO, ON., February 2, 2023 – The latest in the Ford government’s announcements about changes to Ontario’s health-care system is glaring in its omissions, says the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA).

ONA notes that today’s announcement fails to address the need for safe and high-quality care, nor does it present meaningful measures to address the province’s critical nursing shortage. It is missing action to retain nurses currently working in the system or tools to ensure new nurses have the supports they need to remain.

Instead, the plan will continue to see nurses and health-care professionals replaced by unregulated workers – such as operating room assistants – who do not have the same level of education as regulated health-care workers to deliver safe care to patients who are not stable and predictable while under anesthetic. The right care has to be provided by the right regulated provider to ensure patient safety.

ONA believes this announcement is just the next step in this government’s dismantling of the publicly funded and delivered healthcare system in favour of for-profit, private providers at the expense of the quality care every Ontario has the right to deserve.

The remote provision of mental health services will never replace in-person services, especially for mental health support for nurses and health-care workers.

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.