The Ontario NDP recently laid out its plan to tackle long waits for health care which is largely based on recognizing the credentials of 15,000 internationally educated nurses.
“Internationally educated nurses are on the sidelines, watching as patients wait in pain and frontline health care heroes burn out,” said provincial NDP leader Andrea Horwath.
“We can make sure you get the health care you need by getting internationally trained health care heroes on the job quicker,” she promised.
Horwath said she’s heard from countless nurses ready to practice in Ontario but stuck waiting for their credentials to be recognized. So her party will “immediately invest an additional $1 million annually to clear the backlog of an estimated 21,000 internationally educated nurses applying for registration with the College of Nurses of Ontario”.
The NDP has also promised $60 million for the expansion of the Nursing Graduate Guarantee (NGG) program and to create a new pathway for 2,000 foreign trained nurses to become registered nurses in Ontario. A new jobs-matching program will help ensure that internationally trained health care workers find well-paid jobs that allow them to practice using their license. This is estimated to be cost neutral.
An additional $1 million will be invested in bridging programs to assist RPNs with becoming RNs.
“The Wynne and Del Duca Liberals froze hospital budgets and laid off 1,600 nurses. Under the Ford Conservatives, nurses are burning out, feeling disrespected and quitting,” Horwath stated. “But together, we can fix it. We can hire nurses, keep ERs and urgent care centres open, tackle the surgical wait list — and end the long, painful waits for all our families.”