February 17, 2022

Letter to Minister Coady: Budget 2022

The Following Letter was sent by Yvette Coffey, on February 17, 2022, to the Hon. Siobhan Coady, Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance.

Dear Minister Coady:

Newfoundland and Labrador’s registered nurses believe the next few years will be critical for our health care system.

With growing health human resources challenges, a sick and aging population, and Health Accord NL’s plan to transform health care, the Registered Nurses Union Newfoundland & Labrador (RNU) urges you to increase health care investments in Budget 2022.

RNU is the provincial voice of 5,300 registered nurses and nurse practitioners, the largest group of health care providers in our province.

RNs, NPs, and other health care professionals are ready to throw in the towel. With stress and exhaustion at critical levels before COVID-19, 57 per cent of registered nurses report they’ve considered leaving the profession altogether in the last two years.

There are more than 500 RNs vacancies and another 900 RNs intend to retire within the next two years. Fewer RNs working in the public health system impacts patient safety and erodes our ability to provide the high quality of care that everyone in Newfoundland and Labrador deserves.

This is a pivotal time. We cannot afford not to invest strongly in our health care system in Budget 2022.

Failing to address the recruitment and retention of health professionals and properly invest in needed health care transformation will ultimately lead to increased costs to our province, as a result of delays in care, rising wait times, overtime and sick leave. Patients will be further impacted. Lives will be lost.

Your government has taken positive steps to reverse this tide by creating Health Accord NL and announcing measures such as the creation of a health HR plan and new office for recruitment and retention, as well as several other initiatives.

For these measures to succeed, however, investment in Budget 2022 will be needed. The appropriate implementation and transformation of the health care system through Health Accord NL will require investment. Incentives to retain RNs and NPs and create healthier and safer workplaces must be resourced.

RNU urges your government to invest in the future of our health care system and the workers who are at its heart, and we stand ready to continue working together on offering solutions to the most pressing challenges facing our public health care system today.


Yvette Coffey

President RNUNL

This letter was copied to Hon. Andrew Furey, Premier of NL; Minister Haggie, Department of Health & Community Services; Andrea McKenna, Deputy Minister of Health & Community Services; Michelle Jewer, Deputy Minister of Finance; and Theresa Heffernan, Assistant Deputy Minister, Treasury Management & Budgeting Branch.