Sudbury

Cuts to nursing jobs will affect patient care, ONA says

Nurses are bracing for possible cuts at Sudbury's hospital.

Budget consultations at the hospital have suggested that up to 34 registered nurses could be laid off

A spokesperson with the hospital in Sudbury says cuts it might make wouldn't affect patient care or programs on a large scale.

Nurses are bracing for possible cuts at Sudbury's hospital.

While nothing is confirmed, their provincial association says any layoff will affect patient care.

The vice-president of the Ontario Nursing Association says nurses at Health Sciences North are waiting on pins and needles for news of looming cuts.

"The reality is that any registered nurse position lost is a loss of almost 2,000 hours of registered nursing care in that organization,” Vicki McKenna said.

Budget consultations at the hospital have suggested that up to 34 registered nurses could be laid off to balance the books, according to McKenna.

"Patients do better, they stay in hospital less time, they have fewer complications when registered nurses are at their bedside."

The hospital says no cuts have been finalized at this point — and it's looking at ways to avoid layoffs.

"We want to look at every possible option so that we can maintain the services we provide to our patients,” said hospital spokesperson Dan Lessard.

Any the hospital might make cuts — to be determined once the hospital’s budget plan is finalized — wouldn’t affect patient care or programs on a large scale, he said.

The union president representing clerical and support staff at Sudbury's hospital said layoffs are inevitable.

Dave Shelefontiuk said the cuts would come as no surprise, especially since the federal government hasn't renewed the health care act.

“Logic tells you that if you get a zero per cent increase, there's no way you can maintain the type of services you've been providing in the previous years,” he said.

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