A patient waiting a control in hospital. (File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo Inc. / Tozzimr)

ONA Protests Funding Freeze, Layoffs

The Ontario Nurses Association says it can’t protest a freeze in hospital funding and layoffs alone, so it’s urging the public to write their MPP and sign a petition.

Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj blames a five-year freeze in so-called HBAM or Health Based Allocation Model funding for the recent elimination of 160 positions including 120 registered nurses.

The province has frozen $19-billion province-wide and divides it based on factors including projected population growth. Musyj has said since the population of Windsor-Essex isn’t growing, it’s getting less money than hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area for the same procedures.

Sue Sommerdyk with ONA says hospitals are paying more for utilities and are forced to cut nurses.

“It’s essentially starving the hospitals out, and they have to make these cuts that are not in the best interest of patient care,” says Sommerdyk.

She says the public has to speak up.

“We have the second worst nurse-to-patient ratio in Canada, in Ontario,” says Sommerdyk. “They should actually be putting more in the system, not taking them out.”

The association’s launched an online petition and Sommerdyk says it’ll remain active until “we get action.”