Almost half of Ontario’s hospital workers are considering leaving their jobs, a recent survey found. The union representing Ontario health workers says the Ford government needs to do more to address the staffing crisis.
According to a new survey by Nanos, 41 percent of hospital workers in the province say they are experiencing poor conditions. 43 percent of workers said they are considering finding a new career.
The Canadian Union of Public Unions (CUPE), the union that represents health workers in Ontario, said the data points to a staffing crisis that will only worsen unless action is taken by the province.
79 percent of workers surveyed do not believe the provincial government will improve the health care system in 2024. OCHU/CUPE Secretary Treasurer Sharon Richer said, “How will we keep our hospitals running without staff?” It is unfortunate that the government has no plan to retain employees. The whole system depends on the workers. But their need continues to be overlooked.
Union leaders say the province needs an additional investment of $1.25 billion annually over the next five years to improve workforce levels and increase skills. OCHU/CUPE proposes implementing staff-patient ratios in Ontario to improve the work environment.
OCHU/CUPE Vice President Dave Vark said staffing ratios would make a big difference by creating minimum standards of service. There is some hope that the government will give importance to solving the problem. Besides, Vark called for good salary and increasing full-time jobs in this sector.
Ontario has no central plan to help hospitals deal with the nurse shortage, the province’s acting auditor general said in a report last month. That is why the emergency department has to be closed temporarily. Between July 2022 and June 2023, 23 Ontario hospitals had to close more than 200 emergency departments unplanned.
More than 750 hospital workers in the province participated in a recent survey by Nanos.