Via Email and Mail
February 17, 2023
Honorable Andrew Furey, Premier
Minister Tom Osborne, Health & Community Services
Government of Newfoundland & Labrador
P.O. Box 8700
St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6
Dear Premier Furey and Minister Osborne:
On behalf of 5,300 registered nurses, nurse practitioners and our patients, I’m writing to stress the criticality of government focusing on the dire nursing shortage in the bilateral agreement for federal health monies, as well as increasing investment in health human resources in the upcoming Budget 2023.
The promise of increased transfer payments gives us some hope. We urge you to ensure this new deal addresses the critical nursing retention and recruitment issues our province is facing. The problems are critical, and registered nurses are relying on you to secure funding and take action to make sure quality patient care is there for the people of our province.
To fix the health care crisis, we need to fix the nursing shortage. Without enough registered nurses we can’t address the critical issues jeopardizing patient care in our province – we need more RNs to open long-term care beds, address the backlog of surgeries and procedures and improve wait times in our emergency rooms.
Registered nurse vacancies will only get worse if the provincial government doesn’t act now to address retention and protect patient care.
Solving the nursing shortage starts with retention. It’s critical that we not only recruit but retain the incredible, hard-working RNs who are currently providing health care in our province. With skyrocketing rates of burnout, these highly educated and trusted professionals are being forced to walk away from full-time jobs, take jobs with travel agencies, or leave the profession altogether.
We need to give RNs a reason to stay. It’s vital for agreements with the federal government to include new investments to retain nurses and other healthcare workers, with accountability to ensure health transfers are spent on better patient care, and improving working conditions.
We stand with nurses across Canada who are united in calling for new deals that are focused on not-for-profit, publicly delivered care. We must not see public money poured into for-profit facilities and agencies. Siphoning funding and workers to for-profit health care will only make nursing shortages worse and hurt patient care.
We are looking to your government to act now to make sure quality, public health care is there for generations to come.