Math on nurses doesn’t add up (Editor’s notes)

Cutting nurses to balance the books will only lead to a greater labour shortage in near future
By Todd Humber
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/02/2008

Two and two is supposed to equal four. It’s what I was taught in elementary school, and it’s something that my calculator confirms for me today.

I’m doing this basic math to reassure myself because something isn’t adding up in Ontario’s health-care system. At a time when provincial health authorities across the country are aggressively recruiting nurses overseas, at least one Ontario hospital network is looking at trimming the number of nurses it employs.

Rouge Valley Health System, which operates hospitals in Toronto’s east end and parts of neighbouring Durham Region, has said it is planning to cut 220 jobs — including 72 nursing positions — and close 36 beds as it struggles to balance its budget. The usual finger pointing has ensued, with one side blaming the province for underfunding the system and the province pointing the finger back saying Rouge Valley has been poorly run.