Registered Practical Nurses Welcome Much-Needed Funding Boost to Ontario Hospitals

Mar 22, 2018, 19:45 ET

TORONTO, March 22, 2018 /CNW/ - The Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (RPNAO) welcomes a much-needed boost to hospital funding in Ontario. Today's announcement that the Ontario government will provide additional funding of $822 million (a 4.6% increase) to Ontario hospitals in 2018-19 will begin to address the challenges that 19,000 Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) who work in Ontario hospitals face every day.

These challenges include enduring increasingly heavy workloads and coping with the moral distress associated with witnessing situations where patients don't always have access to the care they need.

Ontario's nursing shortage has been rapidly approaching crisis level and this funding will enable Ontario hospitals to hire more RPNs and other nurses so they can better realize the government's vision for a patient-centered health care system. RPNs are knowledge-based health professionals that are an integral part of patient care teams. They bring compassion and expertise to the front lines of Ontario health care every single day.

"RPNAO and our members welcome today's much needed injection of funding into Ontario's hospitals," says Dianne Martin, Chief Executive Officer of RPNAO. "RPNs play an integral role in patient care in Ontario's health system and congratulate Premier Wynne for making this investment that we hope will provide better access to care, reduce wait times, address capacity issues and better meet the needs of Ontario's growing and aging population."

As increasing patient needs continue to strain hospital budgets, some have argued for imposing specific staffing models on hospitals. However, the solution cannot be to force heavy-handed imperatives that limit the number of certain types of nurses in the system – the makeup of any care team should reflect patient needs and the expert judgment of clinical leaders at the point of care. We need a balanced approach that addresses funding and recruitment challenges, sustaining steady growth in the number of RPNs providing bedside care while employing other heath practitioners where they're needed.

About RPNAO

Founded in 1958, RPNAO is the voice of registered practical nursing in Ontario. There are approximately 43,000 RPNs working in Ontario, playing a vital role in the province's health care system. For more information about RPNAO, its mandate and how RPNs contribute to Ontario's health care system, please visit rpnao.org.

SOURCE Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario

For further information: Dianne Martin, Chief Executive Officer, Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (RPNAO), dmartin@rpnao.org, 905 602-4664 ext. 226