QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement on the nursing shortage crisis in Ontario:
“The Premier needs to immediately repeal Bill 124 and improve working conditions to address the nursing shortage crisis.
Nurses are leaving the profession in a ‘mass exodus’ because of stressful working conditions and low pay.
Even in the middle of a public health crisis, the Premier still can’t treat nurses with the respect they deserve.
Many nurses are at a breaking point, but this government doesn’t seem to care.
We have a plan to address the nursing shortage by retaining nurses with improved working conditions and better pay and investing in a comprehensive recruitment strategy. That’s why renewing my call for the Premier to:
- Repeal Bill 124 to give all nurses the raise they deserve
- Implement a program to pay all nurses an additional $5 an hour if they are working on a short-staffed unit or department (10 or fewer scheduled nurses)
- Provide N95 respirators for all nurses to protect them from airborne transmission of COVID-19
- Make pandemic pay permanent for all nurses
- Provide guaranteed access to mental health services for all nurses
- Bolster admissions to nursing baccalaureate programs by 10 per cent in each of the next four years and increase the supply of Nurse Practitioners by over 50 per cent by 2030, as per RNAO’s recommendations
- Streamline and expedite the lengthy process of granting nursing license to qualified internationally educated nurses through the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO)”