TORONTO — Mike Schreiner made the following statement in response to growing concerns about the continued strain on our healthcare system:
“Ontario is facing a crisis in our public healthcare system.
Existing capacity constraints due to staffing shortages were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and now we are at a breaking point.
Nurses are burnt out. Stagnant wages, exhaustion, and unbearable working conditions are driving nurses out of the profession.
If we want to build capacity in our system, we need to invest in the very people who provide care. That’s why I’m calling on the Premier to make shoring up our healthcare system a priority by immediately calling back the legislature to repeal Bill 124 and creating a nursing retention and recruitment plan that includes:
- Immediately repealing Bill 124 to allow collective bargaining and give all nurses the raise they deserve
- Establishing a nurse-led task force to make recommendations on matters related to the recruitment, retention and safety of nurses
- Hiring 30,000 additional nurses by increasing nursing program enrollments by 10% every year for 7 years and the number of trained nurse practitioners by 50% by 2030 to enable
- Fast-tracking credential approvals for 15,000 international healthcare workers, including nurses and personal support workers
- Protecting workers by using the precautionary principle and guaranteeing access to the most appropriate safety equipment in all healthcare facilities
- Providing support for Black and Indigenous healthcare workers through greater mentorship opportunities, partnerships with allies, and equitable human resources processes
I am committed to building a more resilient, caring and healthy province. We will continue to push the Premier’s government to make the investments needed to ensure that people receive the care that they need, when they need it.”