Nurses week is an annual celebration of the profession. Over the last 15 months the COVID-19 pandemic has placed nurses, their families (and all healthcare professionals) in positions of increased anxiety, risk and personal sacrifice.
As a former worker in the healthcare sector, I see what you are going through and I know how gratitude can feel paper thin right now. If gratitude is only connected to press conferences and is associated with weekly celebrations and involves no real action, that's not good enough.
I stood in the house this week and said exactly that, and I won't stop.
That is why my gift to nurses this week is not only gratitude (because you have that), it is a gift that after nurses week ends I will keep raising the issues that improve the work nurses do in Ontario. I am going to head to Toronto after nurses week and I will continue to pressure the government to on the issues that matter right now in healthcare.
Because you cannot call nurses heroes and not support the work of nursing, like:
- Reverse Bill 124 and remove the public sector wage cap
- Action all of the Long Term Care Commission recommendations' today - not putting it off for later
- Fight privatization of care coordinators and healthcare that could result in pay cuts
- Ensuring isolation pay does not end before the pandemic does
- Nurses in the hospital get the resources you need to work safely
It's simple: Don't call nurses and all frontline healthcare workers heroes, and refuse to do create the action that treats them that way.
This is not politics for me, this is personal.