May 24th, 2018

Horwath will hire 4,500 nurses in first year in office

TORONTO – On Thursday morning, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath announced her plan to hire 4,500 new nurses in her first year in office.

The additional nurses are part of Horwath’s plan to tackle the hallway medicine crisis in Ontario hospitals following decades of underfunding from Conservative and Liberal governments.

“Ontarians are rightfully proud of our health care system. Care for everyone with an OHIP card – not a credit card – is a part of our Canadian value system,” said Horwath. “But for the last 15 years, the Wynne Liberals have frozen and cut hospital budgets, and left frontline staff without the basic resources they need to do their jobs. Wait times have ballooned, and hospitals are packed beyond capacity.

“The result is that people wait for hours and hours in pain. And they spend days on stretchers in hospital hallways, not getting the comfort or care they deserve.”

Doug Ford has made deep threats to health care, planning more than $6 billion in cuts. The health care portion of those cuts would mean laying off 28,000 nurses and closing 36 hospitals. Plus, Ford has vowed to “leave no stone unturned” when it comes to privatization – including privatization health care services.

As part of her plan to end hallway medicine, Horwath will hire 4,500 nurses in the first year, and institute a moratorium on any further frontline health care worker layoffs. The NDP will work with communities, frontline staff, and health care experts to develop a province wide staffing plan.

As part of the NDP’s $1.2 billion funding commitment in the first year, an NDP government would also open 2,000 new hospital beds immediately to reduce pressure on overcrowded hospitals.

“Since 2015, Kathleen Wynne has laid off 1,600 nurses. Given the chance, Doug Ford will only make things worse,” said Horwath. “But it absolutely doesn’t have to be this way. More nurses mean better health care for everyone.”

Andrea Horwath’s platform, Change for the Better, also commits to:

  • Hiring 4,500 nurses and placing a moratorium on any further layoffs
  • Restoring hospital funding and making sure that it always keeps up with inflation, population growth, aging, and the unique needs of our communities, including a $1.2 billion investment in the first year alone
  • Opening 2,000 new hospital beds immediately
  • Completing a comprehensive capacity plan so that our hospitals have the capacity that this growing province needs
  • Investing at least $19 billion dollars over the next 10 years in hospital capital expansions and new hospitals
  • Launching a province-wide ‘find-and-fix’ public inquiry into problems in the long-term care system
  • Addressing wait lists for long-term care
  • Keeping Ontarians healthier and reducing pressure on hospitals by introducing universal pharmacare drug coverage and dental care for everyone