Toronto, January 17, 2023 — WeRPN is deeply concerned about the impact of normalizing the use of for-profit care in Ontario. While we recognize the importance of addressing surgical backlogs, Ontario RPNs believe that leveraging for-profit businesses to deliver care is the wrong approach and will result in higher costs and substandard care for Ontarians while further worsening the province’s nursing shortage. “We are facing a daunting health–human resources crisis and we need to be looking at solutions that will keep our valued nurses in our publicly funded system, not create more incentives for them to move to a for-profit system”, says Dianne Martin, CEO of WeRPN.
It is distressing for nurses to see Ontario going down a path towards more privatized health care, ultimately putting profits over patients. “In the face of our nursing shortage, Ontario has already become over-reliant on for-profit nursing agencies that provide nurses who are less familiar with the practice settings and patient populations at triple the cost to the taxpayer”, says Martin. Instead of expanding for-profit care and creating a two-tiered system, WeRPN urges the government to make meaningful investments to strengthen Ontario’s public health system. The association is calling on the government to support nursing retention by implementing nurse-to-patient ratios, establishing competitive and harmonized compensation across all health sectors and expanding access to specialized education to meet the needs of the health system.