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Photo supplied by Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, March 2024

Nurses association sees some good news in budget

By Randy Thoms Apr 3, 2024 | 1:06 AM

Some optimism from the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario with the recent provincial budget.

Chief Executive Officer Doris Grinspun was at Queen’s Park at the invite of the Finance Minister.

She says she was pleased to have nursing mentioned in Peter Bethlenfalvy budget speech.

“Which he tells you they’re listening, they’re paying attention,” says Grinspun.

There were two key announcements the RNAO favours.

One is a commitment to train more nurses in colleges and universities by adding 2,000 more space.

Grinspun (GRIN-spun) says is a good step forward.

“This is not a new announcement, but it is important that it’s permanent. Meaning we will be moving from 5000 graduates every year to 7000. That is significant. For Ontarians, that’s significant,” says Grinspun.

She says the focus will be to keep them working in Ontario, which will require competitive compensation.

Grinspun is also likes the commitment to expand primary care teams.

The province is earmarking $546 million over three years.

Grinspun says it will take the pressure off some people looking for a family physician.

“This funding will only cover 600,000 Ontarians. Although it’s extremely welcome, we have over 2 million Ontarians that don’t have a regular primary care provider.”

She is hoping some of the money will be used to fund more nurse practitioner-led clinics.

Grinspun is disappointed there was no announcement regarding consumption and treatment services to deal with the high rates of drug overdoses.