On Wednesday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford was asked about the state of health care in the province, but offered no new plans in his first comments on the issue in weeks.
“Make no mistake, there is a blockage, but 90% of patients are taken care of when they enter the hospital. Surgeries are at 90%. Can we do better? 100% a strong supporter continuous improvement, investment and that’s exactly what we do,” said Ford.
It comes as a new study finds nearly seven in 10 nurses say they are unable to provide adequate patient care due to a lack of time and available resources, and nearly one in two licensed practical nurses consider to leave the profession for good.
“We are now beyond the crisis and we need serious short-term action to prevent our health care system from completely collapsing,” said Rachel Muir, a nurse at the Ottawa Hospital’s Civic Campus.
There is a new call to action in Alexandria where the emergency department at Glengarry Memorial Hospital will continue to reduce nighttime hours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until at least August 22 due to a shortage of staff.
The hospital’s president and CEO says he is actively recruiting for a number of jobs.
“It’s a fantastic place to live and we have wonderful opportunities on our website for nursing and other allied health professions, so I would encourage anyone who fits the bill to check us out and help us fully reopen our emergency department,” said Robert Alldred-Hugues.
On Wednesday, Ford touted billions in health care spending and said hiring more nurses was essential.
“Our problem is retaining these nurses because the situation in the units they are going to is untenable, they are working overtime, there is no support for them because the head nurses have left,” Muir said. .
As for repealing Bill 124, which caps pay increases for nurses and other healthcare workers at 1%, Ford says it’s up to hospitals to negotiate fairly.
Muir said repealing the bill is just the start.
“Show them respect and they’ll start sticking around.”