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RNAO Says Money Shouldn’t Drive Health Decisions

With a provincial election just months away, the president of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario has a warning for provincial politicians.

Carol Timmings says budgets should not drive health care decisions because they usually lead to job cuts and don’t help patient outcomes.

Timmings says Ontario is currently seeing a dangerous trend when it comes to staffing.

“Long term care or acute care are replacing RN’s with less qualified workers and they’re doing that without regard to what’s best in terms of the effectiveness of the provider and the outcomes of the patient,” says Timmings.

Despite that, Timmings told nursing students at St. Clair College in Chatham on Tuesday that they’re entering an exciting profession and have a bright future ahead. Timmings says Ontario doesn’t have enough registered nurses or nurse practitioners in key sectors across the health care system.

“There’s lots of opportunity for contributions in the workforce but we have to make sure that the right skill set is aligned with caring for the right level of complexity and need of the patients,” Timmings says.

Timmings says Ontario has the lowest registered nurse to population ratio in Canada and it must change to allow better access to care either at the hospital or at home.

“Be mindful of those dangerous trends and we want to let them know that we’re advocating so the province is looking at funding institutions for the right level of provider,” says Timmings.