RNAO’s media conference to address the crisis in long-term care resonates widely

We were thrilled to host a media conference today Friday, alongside Sinai Health System geriatrician and powerful advocate Dr. Nathan Stall. This virtual event was crucial in our ongoing efforts to raise red flags and push for action that we hope will stop an evolving disaster in long-term care (LTC) homes similar to the one we saw during the first wave of COVID-19.

RNAO statement in response to the government’s announcement on increasing direct care for long-term care resident to four hours per day

RNAO is shocked by the lack of urgency in Monday’s announcement from the provincial government that they intend to meet minimum quality care standards in Ontario’s nursing homes by 2025. Urgent action and not an election promise is needed to protect the lives of nursing home residents as the province is now in the grips of a ferocious resurgence of COVID-19.

RNAO continues to advocate for national long-term care standards in Canada

As our readers are aware, RNAO has been at the forefront of the demand to establish national standards in LTC, given the failure of provincial governments to act – for two decades – and the tragedy brought by the pandemic as a result. This week, RNAO wrote again to the prime minister and to Premier Doug Ford in anticipation of their meeting reiterating the urgency to establish standards. See the October 14 letter below.

RNAO urges stricter measures to combat rapidly rising number of COVID-19 infections

RNAO has been increasingly alarmed at the rise of cases and the timid measures advanced by the Ontario government to flatten the second wave. Simply said, the later we act, the larger the price we will pay – both in illness, death, an overwhelmed healthcare system, and in economic costs. This is a basic lesson we learned during the first wave, and we are extremely worried. Today, RNAO issued a press release, reproduced below. We have also been intensively in the media making a call for immediate action. Our presence is also being felt in Twitter.

Nurses say throne speech advances A Just Recovery for All

Wednesday’s federal Throne Speech was an important policy moment in Canada. Please see below RNAO’s press release issued after the Speech. RNAO was successful in achieving two major asks in our Vision for A Just Recovery for All: 1) the federal government will work with the provinces and territories to set National Standards for Long-Term Care (LTC) so that seniors get the best support possible, with funding attached to those standards, and 2) strengthening the National Housing Strategy announced in 2017 by increasing investments to rapid housing in the short term, and partnering with not-for-profits and co-ops in the mid- to long-term. The commitment is to end chronic homelessness.

Rather than praise, let’s protect our nurses 

The following article was prepared in May on the occasion of Nursing Week but still remains relevant today. It was coauthored by Alex Harris (Manager, Professional Practice at Trillium Health Partners), Doris Grinspun (CEO, Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario), Mike Villeneuve (CEO, Canadian Nurses Association) and Judith Shamian (President Emerita, International Council of Nurses).