Ontario Nurses’ Association Horrified as Hôtel Dieu Grace Healthcare Announces Cuts to Registered Nurse Care

November 10, 2021

WINDSOR, ON., Nov. 10, 2021: The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) is raising the alarm at the shocking and disingenuous plan announced to cut registered nurses (RNs) at Hôtel Dieu Grace Healthcare.

Citing difficulty in recruiting and retaining RNs and having already cut RN positions (unrelated to any mandatory vaccination policy), Hôtel Dieu Grace Healthcare has now informed ONA that it plans to ‘re-evaluate’ the role of the RNs in providing care for patients.

“I am dumbfounded that this employer has responded to a problem by intentionally worsening it,” says ONA President Vicki McKenna, RN. “It plans to cut RN positions and has a total of 26 vacant RN positions organization-wide; 11 part-time positions, one full-time and seven temporary RN positions have already been eliminated. It is outrageous that they would rather cut RNs than improve working conditions to retain and attract them. The employer knows full well that announcing it is leaving just a skeletal number of RNs to provide care for its patients will drive existing RNs out, seeking employment in facilities where working conditions are much, much better.”

McKenna adds that other Ontario hospitals, such as Windsor Regional and St. Mary’s General Hospital in Kitchener, are offering hiring bonuses of up to $10,000 for new RNs. “There is no reason for Hôtel Dieu Grace Healthcare not to do the same, as there is a provincial program to fund this,” says McKenna. “It’s clear to me that they plan to cut as many RN positions as they can, and the hospital plans to change its model of care in the Complex Medical Care and Inpatient Rehabilitative Service areas and review all RN vacancies to determine whether to fill them or leave them empty – posing a risk to patient safety.”

McKenna says “the research is clear. RN care improves patient outcomes, saves the system money and reduces the rate of patient complications and death. Each time an extra patient is added to an average RN’s workload, risk of complications and death increases. Yet this employer believes it’s just fine to deal with a nursing shortage by cutting registered nurses during a pandemic. The people of Windsor should be very worried and angry, and demand better.”

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, public health, the community, clinics and industry.

For more information: 

Sheree Bond (416) 986-8240 (cell) shereeb@ona.org