ontario liberals call on province to deal with nursing shortage
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Ontario Liberals call on province to deal with nursing shortage

Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca is urging the premier to recall the legislature to quickly deal with the shortage of nurses in the province, this as another local emergency department is forced to cut services.

The Liberals want the province to repeal Bill 124, which caps compensation increases for registered nurses at one per cent.

The call comes just days after the South Bruce Grey Health Centre announced the emergency department at its Walkerton site is closing during the overnight hours because they don’t have enough nursing staff to keep it open.

Del Duca told Blackburn Media that Walkerton is not alone in grappling with a nursing shortage and his party is considering incentives for nurses to work in remote and rural areas.

“It’s definitely one of the ideas under consideration for our election platform,” Del Duca said. “How can we encourage, or nudge, or persuade, registered nurses and others to work and live in communities that so desperately need their help.”

In the immediate future, Del Duca said increasing compensation for nurses will go a long way to retaining them.

“To me, step one is making sure across the board, everywhere in Ontario, including in [Midwestern Ontario], we have enough nurses to begin with,” said Del Duca. “And that’s a problem right now, partially in a big way because of Bill 124.”

Del Duca also wants the province to make it easier for nurses trained in other countries to get their skills accredited here.

“You know, having an emergency room close is just a disaster and we have to work on that.” said Del Duca. “We will have more to say on that in our platform.”
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