Nursing shortage: Jagmeet Singh calls on the feds to fix the system


NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls on the Liberal government to address staffing shortages in Canada’s health care system by streamlining the process of hiring more internationally trained workers and hiring more long-term care workers duration while increasing their wages.

Singh made the call during a news conference with Ontario Nurses Association president Cathryn Hoy on Thursday. His message to the federal government comes as several emergency rooms across the country have announced temporary closures and reduced services due to understaffing, while nurses leave the industry in droves.

“That’s what we’re asking of the prime minister: invest in the solutions, show up and be a leader,” Singh said. “It’s not enough to say it’s a provincial matter and wash your hands of it, and the federal government has a role to play.

Singh said he wants to see the Liberal government work with the provinces and territories to speed up the process for internationally trained health care workers to have their credentials recognized.

The management of health care systems and the delivery of care is largely the responsibility of the provinces and territories. Hoy and the heads of various nurses’ unions say that while recruiting new workers is important, the problem is retaining them, particularly because of poor working conditions, in some cases caused by provincial policies.

Hoy said Premier Doug Ford’s policies in Ontario, for example, have pushed nurses into other careers and early retirement, and the province has turned to private health care providers to fill the retarded guys.

“All levels of government have a responsibility to ensure Canadians have access to high-quality public health care,” Hoy said.

“Your paycheck should never determine whether you have the right to care, or to be quite frank, whether you have the right to live or die,” she also said.

She said she wanted to see the federal government set up a national health workforce body ‘to help coordinate a comprehensive plan’, to stop provinces from poaching each other for staff and to fill in other gaps and in the system.

healthcare workers across the country have been sounding the alarm that the system has been in crisis for months.

Meanwhile, a new study from the Association of Licensed Practical Nurses of Ontario (WeRPN) indicates that staffing shortages are seriously compromising patient care.

“I think these results will shock the public – nearly 7 in 10 nurses see patients’ health at risk because adequate time, resources and staffing levels simply aren’t available,” said Dianne Martin. , chief executive of WeRPN, in a press release about the study. “Alarmingly, this is now being normalized.”

According to the study, almost 80% of nurses say they have reached a “breaking point” in relation to their work, while the number of nurses surveyed who say they have “never been so proud to be a nurse” is dropped from 67% in 2020 to 36% in May 2022, and nearly half of nurses surveyed say they are considering leaving the profession.

Ontario nurses in particular have spoken out against the resounding negative impact of the province’s Bill 124, which caps their annual salary increases at 1%.

“They gave it their all, and what they got is Bill 124 in Ontario,” Doris Grinspun, head of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, said Thursday. “That’s why they’re leaving Ontario.

She added that many nurses have sacrificed vacations, free time and time with family to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The nurses are exhausted. They are exhausted,” Grinspun said.

In January, Ontario Premier Doug Ford came under fire from health care workers for announcing he would add hospital beds to meet patient needs, without saying how he would staff them.

He is calling for more federal funding to help hire workers, much like B.C. Premier John Horgan, who said Wednesday that the only solution to the national staffing shortage problem is more money from the federal government. .