RNAO recognizes the continued importance of sharing stories and perspectives from the Black community and is celebrating Black History Month in February. This past year, RNAO has remained dedicated to its advocacy and work to bring awareness to and end anti-Black racism and discrimination, especially in the nursing profession. In partnership with its members, RNAO has made progress in addressing the systemic racism within nursing, as well as all health-care sectors and academic settings.
RNAO issued a media release on Jan. 20 following the government’s announcement that it plans to start lifting public health measures. The Ontario government’s announcement today to ease public health measures beginning Jan. 31 is premature and will prolong the current health system crisis, says RNAO.
The following is an article contributed by a group of internationally educated nurses (IENs) who live in Canada and are anxious to work as RNs in Canada but who have endured years of an arduous and seemingly interminable process to meet the requirements.
RNAO’s CEO Doris Grinspun made a deputation to the Toronto Board of Health on Jan. 17. RNAO recognizes the importance of our public education system for all children’s learning, physical, social and emotional development. In principle, there is no question – school is where kids and youth ought to be. However, the provincial government’s response to school safety has mirrored its response to the pandemic generally. Public health measures have been too little, too late – undermining our capacity to ameliorate the damage caused by the virus, and jeopardizing recovery.
Global problems require global solutions. With COVID-19, however, we’re seeing that our governance mechanisms don’t drive global solutions even when our lives depend on it. In the current global landscape, the virus outsmarted us. Global vaccine roll-out has been inequitable: less than three per cent of people in low-income countries have been vaccinated as the richest countries hoard vaccines, and refuse to support waivers on COVID-19 vaccine patent rights or to keep pharmaceutical companies from bullying middle- and lower-income countries. This is an article by Gloria Novovic.
In December 2021, RNAO spoke to the media about several prominent, timely issues including the ongoing nursing shortage, Bill 124 and booster vaccines. We also commented on the Ontario government’s announcements prior to the holidays, including changes to capacity limits, testing requirements and reporting of cases.
RNAO issued a letter to Premier Doug Ford on Jan. 5, 2022. As the fifth wave of this pandemic rages, the cracks in our health system are clear for all to see. The reactive and last-minute management of this pandemic must end. There is no separate trajectory for Ontario’s economy while this virus ravages the people of this province and threatens to bring our health system to its knees. Ontarians desperately need the help of the nursing profession to succeed in fighting Omicron. As the premier of this province, it is on you to bring hope back to our nursing profession.
As we begin a new year, 2022, amid another very challenging wave – the fifth one -- I want to thank each health care worker for the work you do. Our nursing colleagues are stretched beyond imagination with unattainable workloads and an unjust Bill 124 undermining their unparalleled contribution to Ontario’s health-care system. Please know that RNAO will stand by you, with you and for you until this government acts!