Horwath Calls for Moratorium on Wynne Government’s Cuts to Nurses

To mark the beginning of Nursing Week, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath called on the Wynne government to impose a moratorium on any further nursing cuts in Ontario’s hospitals.

“This morning, on the first day of Nursing Week, I’m here with one message for Premier Wynne: Enough is enough,” said Horwath. “The Liberals are forcing our hospitals to make decisions based on dollars and deficits, rather than what’s best for patients. The Premier’s deep cuts to nursing care in Ontario’s hospitals must stop – Now.”

Horwath was joined by Vicki McKenna, First Vice-President of the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA), who revealed that 1,440 registered nurses have been cut since the beginning of 2015. In 2016, Ontario is on pace to more than double the number of nurses cut compared to last year.

“Nurses know that hospital RN cuts hurt our patients,” said McKenna. “Registered nurses appreciate Andrea Horwath’s call for a moratorium on nursing cuts. Our acutely ill patients need more RN care, not less.”

Hospitals are being forced to cut nurses because provincial funding for hospital budgets has not kept up with the growing costs of inflation and population growth. Hospital base operating funding has been frozen for four years and will, once again, not keep up with the cost of inflation and population growth in 2016.

“Because of the Premier’s bad decisions, it’s becoming more and more clear that health care is the silent crisis of the Wynne government,” added Horwath. “Fewer nurses mean less care for patients, and less care for patients is not something that I am prepared to accept.”

“It is time for a moratorium on nursing cuts,” said Horwath. “All Ontarians deserve health care you can count on, and that’s exactly what New Democrats are determined to deliver.”