Ontario Nurses’ Association welcomes federal funding to improve health care, but calls on Ford to be accountable and invest in public care
February 9, 2024
TORONTO, ON, February 9, 2024 – The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) welcomes the commitment of the federal government to provide funding in a new health-care agreement for this province, and adds that ONA has no faith that the Ford government will direct the funds to where they are most needed – to invest in the public system, not the for-profit, private corporations.
“Nurses welcome new federal funding for health care in Ontario, which is desperately needed in our public-health care system,” says ONA President Erin Ariss, RN. “Yet the brutal truth is that our provincial government has withheld existing funds from the public system Ontarians treasure. Ford has failed to retain nurses, and handed taxpayer dollars to private, for-profit corporations to perform non-urgent procedures. Where is the requirement that federal taxpayer dollars go to the public system in this agreement? The federal government – and Ontarians – must demand accountability from the province.”
Ariss adds that despite the repeated misleading statements made by Health Minister Sylvia Jones that Ontario added 80,000 new nurses, Ontario continues to have the fewest RNs per capita in Canada. “Nurses must renew their registrations annually,” she notes. “If we have so many new nurses, why is it that Ontario is seeing hundreds of emergency departments continuing to have to close due to nurse staffing shortages?
“The premier spoke glowingly about getting shovels in the ground and clinics performing procedures, all of which fails to improve what’s happening across the province when it comes to access to the system our patients need and deserve. ONA will continue to speak out and demand real accountability and improvements to the public system.”
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.