Doug Ford announces plan to hire more nurses in Ontario and not everyone is impressed
The Ontario government announced today that they are investing over $4.6 million to remove financial barriers for nurses wanting to upskill to work in critical care areas of hospitals, and not everyone was satisfied with the new plan.
Premier Doug Ford said the plan is to expand Ontario's health workforce by adding thousands of new nurses, with nearly 14,000 new nurses already registered to work in the province so far this year.
We’re hiring record numbers of new nurses and want to give them every opportunity to grow in their jobs.— Doug Ford (@fordnation) December 1, 2022
That’s why we’re investing $4.6M to upskill nurses to work in critical care. By spring 2023, we expect 600 more nurses ready to care for our most vulnerable across Ontario. pic.twitter.com/aUSOx6qfFD
"We're breaking down barriers for internationally educated nurses to work here in Ontario and are providing more opportunity for all nurses to grow in the job," Ford said. "It's all hands on deck as we use every tool we have to get more nurses working in Ontario right now."
The $4.6 million will be invested in the Michener Institute, and a further $9.4 million will be used to support accelerated critical care nursing at multiple colleges across the province, including Centennial College and George Brown College.
Reactions on social media were mixed, with some claiming that nurses deserve better after their nightmare experiences during lockdowns.
Why would anyone in Ontario want to be a nurse? They have been the front line of the pandemic and the face of Ontario and instead of treating them like heros, you treat them like garbage. Capping wages under the guise of no cash, lie. Too little to late. You royally suck.— maninhutbylake (@maninhutbylake) December 1, 2022
One person expressed that the upskilling program doesn't make much sense, considering nurses are not paid enough for their work.
You will turn yourself inside out not to pay people properly. Why would anyone upskill to be paid peanuts?— Diane (@dianeinhamilton) December 1, 2022
Another person echoed this previous sentiment, stating that current nurses don't even want to work because their wages are capped.
Brilliant Doug— 🎙DJ UNITY🎙 (@Truth4Ont) December 1, 2022
“Investing” in hiring more nurses for the nurses who don’t want to work cause their wages are capped
Other people claimed the investment does not do much to resolve the current health workforce crisis.
So, the bucket of water has holes in it and is hemorrhaging nurses. Nurses are also jumping from the top of the bucket, and instead of fixing the holes, you’re just adding more water ? pic.twitter.com/M7WrtOVFSl— DOTATUM (@DotatumU) December 1, 2022
One person recommended paying nurses what they're worth first before introducing another plan.
How about paying them what they’re worth first so retention is no longer an issue?— Greg Armstrong (@armstrong69greg) December 1, 2022
The announcement comes amid a court decision this week that deemed Bill 124, which capped public sector workers' wages (including nurses) unconstitutional. The legislation came into effect in 2019 and capped wage increases to one per cent a year for three years.
The Ontario government announced shortly after that they intended to appeal the decision.
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