10,000 Sign Petition Against Nursing Cuts

BlackburnNews.com file photo of Windsor-West NDP MPP Lisa Gretzky, June 24, 2015. (Photo by Jason Viau)

Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky is calling on the province to immediately stop cutting nursing jobs, and she says the public is behind her.

Gretzky was joined by about 20 nurses from Windsor-Essex this week when she presented in the Ontario Legislature a petition containing almost 10,000 signatures from the local region alone.

“There are more coming in from different areas as well,” she says. “These are not just nurses signing the petition.”

While Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Dr. Eric Hoskin says the province has hired 20,500 nurses since 2003, Gretzky isn’t buying it. She says even recent $12-billion investments in hospitals don’t cut it.

“Funding has been frozen for years, and the announcement is not even going to bring hospitals up to the current rate of inflation,” says¬†Gretzky.

She says nurses and patients are bearing the brunt of funding freezes.

“If you talk to RNs in the system, you’ll find that what nurses are still working in the health care sector; they’re often overworked. They’re stressed out,” Gretzky says. “They’re doing well beyond what their job requirements are because they are trying very hard to provide good quality care.”

Windsor Regional Hospital is one of many hospitals across Ontario that have announced job cuts recently. At that hospital, 160 nurses are being laid off, an equivalent, says Gretzky of 330,000 hours of hands-on patient care.