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article imageOntario nurses urging Toronto Mayor to accept provincial funding

By Andrew Moran     Jul 8, 2011 in Politics
Toronto - The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario is urging the Toronto Mayor and City Councillors to reconsider the province of Ontario's offer of two public health nurses, which is an estimated $170,000.
Last month, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford declined the Ontario government’s offer to hire two public health nurses for the city that would have been paid for by the province. Ford said that he didn’t want the city to pay for the nurses if the province ever dropped funding and noted that the city is in the middle of a core service review.
On Friday, more than 2,000 nurses from the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) issued letters to the mayor and city councillors that urged them to reconsider their decision, according to the group’s press release. They also asked the city to make public health a priority.
Due to these letters, several members of council will introduce a motion to reopen the issue during next week’s city council meeting. Ward 23 Willowdale Councillor John Filion will introduce the motion Tuesday.
“Every day, public health nurses are at the forefront of health protection and promotion, disease and injury prevention, reducing health inequities, and reducing the costs to taxpayers of a health and social system too often focused on illness rather than well-being,” said President of the RNAO, David McNeil.
The mayor responded to the letters and stated: “Toronto is in the midst of a core service review. Now is not the time to add new permanent staff. Other departments have been asked to defer non-essential hiring until after the service reviews. Toronto Public Health is expected to do the same.”
If the two public health nurses are hired, one would have worked with newly immigrated individuals and how to prevent certain diseases. The other nurse would have worked on the issue of health promotion in poor neighbourhoods of the city.
Ontario Health Minister Debra Matthews said that Toronto is the only one of Ontario’s 36 public health units to decline the offer of nurses.
More about registered nurses association of ontario, Toronto mayor, Rob Ford, Ontario government, Public health
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