Nurses to protest ‘dangerous decision’ by Hamilton Health Sciences
Published December 6, 2022 at 1:56 pm
Nursing advocates and labour leaders are scheduled to protest a recent decision by Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) to hire operating room assistants — a decision the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) is calling “dangerous.”
“Any nursing cuts from operating rooms put patient safety at risk – period,” said registered nurse and ONA interim provincial president Bernie Robinson. “This plan to do so must be stopped.”
“The people of Hamilton and surrounding areas can make a difference, and we will help them do so. Safe care is too important not to make everyone’s voices heard.”
ONA says its leaders and nurses will be joined at the “rally to save nursing care in operating rooms at HHS” by health care professionals, labour and community members, and labour leaders outside Hamilton General Hospital at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, HHS says its decision to hire operating room assistants is not at the expense of its nurses.
In an official statement, HHS says operating room assistants are a vital new support role that has been implemented at hospitals worldwide. They say operating assistants do not perform regulated work done by nurses.
“No operating room nurses at HHS have been eliminated,” said Hamilton’s major health care provider. “Operating room assistants are a vital team member, and HHS is proud to have them working in our facilities.”
“HHS also continues aggressively recruiting for all nursing roles across our hospital, including the operating rooms. We are grateful to our valued nursing staff for their dedication to our patients.”
Operating room assistants are viewed as a cheaper option compared to nurses, who can earn beyond six figures per year with overtime. The average salary of an operating room assistant in Ontario is less than $50,000.
ONA members and labour leaders are scheduled to speak at Wednesday’s rally at 4:30 p.m. at 237 Barton St. East.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising