Registered Practical Nurses encouraged by increased focus on seniors, health care in 2018 Ontario Budget

MISSISSAUGA, ON, March 28, 2018 /CNW/ - The 2018 Ontario Budget places a significant and very welcome focus on health care, promising major investments in home and community care, long-term care, mental health, hospitals and more.
Particularly encouraging is the government's increased investment in the province's growing seniors population, including free prescriptions for those 65 and over, the addition of 2.8 million personal support worker (PSW) hours, 284,000 more nursing visits and the addition of 30,000 new long-term care beds over the next 10 years.
"We are very encouraged to see the government's increased focus on seniors and health care in the 2018 Ontario Budget," says Dianne Martin, CEO of the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (RPNAO). "Our seniors are one of our most vulnerable populations and as their numbers continue to grow, the need for expert nursing care will continue to increase as well. To that end, the government's promises to add significant new nursing visits, PSW supports and long-term care beds are all welcome news."
"We are also very pleased to see that the government has earmarked $300 million for long-term care staffing and support over the next three years," says Martin. "Given that registered practical nurses (RPNs) are the largest group of nursing care providers in long-term care in Ontario, we expect that long-term care providers will use a significant portion of these new funds to increase residents' access to quality nursing care by RPNs." 
With Ontario's growing and aging population, it is more important than ever that our province has a health care system that is team-based, highly adaptable and able to provide the highest quality of care, matching the right care provider with the right patient at the right time. RPNs are experts in seniors care and their education and practice are constantly evolving to meet the needs of older Ontarians and we look forward to working with the government to help them deliver on the promises made in the 2018 Ontario Budget.
About the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario
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
SOURCE Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario