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Ontario nurses say 2,000 jobs have vanished

Ontario has lost more than 2,000 full-time nursing positions — the majority in hospitals — over the past 12 months, the Ontario Nurses Association says.

“That is equating out to over four million hours of nursing care,” ONA president Haslam-Stroud said Monday. “The fact is that it’s across the province. It’s a virus happening and they’re cutting the nurses to balance the budgets and impacting the care that we’re able to provide.”

ONA released a report that identifies 2,045 positions that are on the chopping block with more on the way.

Health Minister Deb Matthews said the layoff notices do not necessarily mean a nurse is headed for the unemployment line.

As the health care system modernizes, some responsibilities are shifted from one environment to another, she said.

“Some nurses are getting layoff notices but then they will be immediately hired in a new position at a different hospital,” Matthews said.

Overall, the province has almost 10,000 more nurses than in 2003 when the Liberals first gained government, she said.

“So there are lots of opportunities for nurses; we actually need more nurses working full time,” she said.

Matthews noted there are hundreds of nursing positions on Workopolis, the job-hunting website.

Haslam-Stroud said not all posted nursing jobs materialize, and community-based nursing jobs don’t usually come with the same security, pay and benefits available in the hospital sector.

Source on net: http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2010/04/26/13728396.html