May 21st, 2022

NDP will add 1,386 nurses in Scarborough, so people get care faster

SCARBOROUGH AND TORONTO – Andrea Horwath and the Ontario NDP will fix the nursing shortage in Scarborough by filling the current 186 nursing vacancies, and adding 1,200 new nurses at Scarborough’s hospitals and public community health settings over Horwath’s first term.

“We can help people get care faster — and help nurses recover from the burnout — by putting enough nurses on every shift,” said Horwath. “Just imagine what a difference it will make for patients to have a nurse at your side the moment you need them — instead of waiting and waiting while the skeleton staff of nurses are all run off their feet.

“We can make sure when you take your little one to the ER, there’s someone there to take a look right away. And with more nurses, we can get through the backlog of surgeries and procedures sooner — ending people’s painful waits.”

The NDP has a plan to add 30,000 nurses in Ontario, and will launch a powerful strategy to recruit, retain and return nurses. As part of that plan, Scarborough would see its vacancies filled and 1,200 new nurses added over its first term — finally giving the community its fair share. The NDP plan includes measures such as:

  • Expediting recognition of nursing credentials of 15,000 internationally trained nurses so they can get to work in their field faster.
  • Creating new jobs for late-career and recently retired nurses in supervisory and mentorship roles.
  • Eliminating Bill 124 and increasing health care workers’ wages.
  • Developing and implementing a strategy to address violence against health care professionals.

Horwath and the NDP have committed to funding the redevelopment of Centenary and Birchmount sites and ensuring Scarborough General’s project timelines are met.

The NDP is also committed to building two additional community health centres in Scarborough and increasing operational budgets to enable them to hire more staff. New Scarborough community health centres will be developed with community consultations to ensure they meet the culturally specific needs of the communities they serve.

For years, Liberal and Conservative governments have cut health care and fired nurses, leaving Scarborough a neglected and disrespected epicenter of hallway medicine with painfully long waits for care. Ford has capped the pay of nurses below inflation with Bill 124. That’s driving nurses away, which is leading to a vicious cycle of exhausted, burnt out and disrespected nurses leaving, exacerbating staffing shortages further.

“The Liberals gave us hallway medicine when they cut 1,600 nurses, and people paid the price. But the Conservatives made it worse, not better,” said Horwath. “Conservatives cut health care. We saw it before the pandemic and no doubt we’d see it after the pandemic if Ford gets another chance. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you want to fix health care, I want you to know that together we can do it.”