Call your MPP about hospital funding
RE: Hospital crowding reminds us of investment need (Jan. 21)
Each week there is another story about Ontario hospitals treating patients in hallways because of overcrowding and overcapacity. This is not the way for our patients to receive the care they require.
The head of the Ontario Hospital Association is now speaking out, calling for additional funding in the 2017 Ontario budget for increasing capacity “along the continuum of care.” I’ll be much more direct. Ontario hospitals obviously need more than the 2016 two-per-cent increase they received in 2017 if they have any hope of maintaining current services.
The province’s decision to flatline base operating funding for hospitals to zero-per-cent growth in fiscal years 2012 to 2015 has consequences. This decision directly led to the elimination of more than 1,500 registered nurses’ positions in the last two years.
We now see that the two-per-cent increase in 2016 for hospitals has not been sufficient to keep patients out of hallways. It also has not slowed down the replacement/ deletion of RNs as the RN share of nursing employment in Ontario has been falling significantly over time — from 76.4 per cent in 2003 to 68.5 per cent in 2016.
Getting your care in hallways from fewer RNs is not the future any of us want. Call your MPP to demand at least a three-per-cent increase in funding for hospitals in 2017. Your care depends on it. Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, president, Ontario Nurses’ Association