Bill 60 is a train wreck that derails public health care and access to high quality patient care
May 8, 2023
TORONTO, ON – The passage of Bill 60 by the Ford government continues toward a dangerous path of province-wide health-care privatization that will further erode patient care, says ONA Provincial President Erin Ariss, RN.
“Nurses and health-care professionals across the province witness first-hand how private health care is an absolute failure for our patients, residents and clients. We see this vividly in our long-term care and home care sectors, and now Ford is derailing our public hospital care. Nurses know that outcomes for privately delivered surgeries are worse and the costs are higher, although Premier Ford would like Ontarians to believe otherwise,” notes Ariss.
For-profit clinics can arbitrarily refuse to treat patients with complex needs or preexisting conditions, taking only the easiest, highest-profit cases. Says Ariss: “This means that for public hospital nurses, for example, there is an increase in patient acuity and even more of an unmanageable workload. The only winners in the passage of this bill into law are the investors, who are greedily anticipating the extra money lining their pockets.”
Staffing the for-profit clinics will have little choice than draw from the public system. “We have already seen for-profit surgical clinics and nursing agencies pay double the wages offered in public hospitals. This draws burnt-out staff out of our public system and exacerbates the staffing crisis already faced by public hospitals.”
This bill weakens the credentials required to be a nurse in Ontario. The government amended the definitions of nursing to include individuals who are not licensed by the College of Nurses of Ontario. “To grant the government the authority to circumvent this licensing and accountability structure is unprecedented and will have far-reaching consequences. The regulation of nurses and health-care professionals by our professional colleges is a protection for patient safety and professional accountability and should not be overridden,” Ariss concludes.
“The problems in our system cannot be solved by privatization, which will only worsen staffing issues and decrease access. The way to get our system back on track is to fund our public health care properly, open up ORs in public hospitals with extended hours, and pay hospital nurses and health-care workers fair wages.”
The Ontario Nurses’ Association is the union representing 68,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals as well as 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care, public health, the community, clinics and industry.
Erin Ariss, RN & ONA Provincial President, speaking at a press conference on Bill 60.
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