Skip to main content

Major decline in nursing in Ontario hospitals



There was a sharp reduction in the number of Registered Nurses (RNs) working in Ontario hospitals in 2011, with a cut of 2,750 RNs to 58,699 according to new CIHI data.  That's a 4.47% decrease in one year.  Community health numbers also took a very hard hit, while numbers were up very slightly in long-term care.

For the first time in a long time the number of Registered Nurses (RNs) in Ontario has begun to decline.  In 2011, employed RNs declined from 95,185 to 94,723, a  decrease of  462, or just less than one-half of one percent.

Registered Practical Nurses (RPN) continue to increase in numbers overall, up 1,023 from 2010, or 3.36%.

Accordingly, the ratio between RNs and RPNs in Ontario has declined from 3.52 employed RN per employed RPN in 2004, to 3.01 RN per RPN.  While this relative decline mimics a country-wide trend, RN numbers across the country still continued to increase in 2011 (from 268,512 in 2010 to 270,724 in 2011).

The overall numbers, however, hide the fact that work in the main parts of health care is declining for all nurses -- RN and RPN alike.

There was a decline in the number of RPNs working in hospitals in Ontario, with the numbers declining from 13,373 in 2010 to 13,126 in 2011.  That's a decline of 247 RPNs  -- or a loss of 1.8% in one-year.

RPN employment in community health declined somewhat and rose slightly in long-term care.

Almost all of the increase in RPN employment was in the ill-defined category "Other Place of Work".  This category lumps together employment with private nursing agencies, private duty nurses, doctors offices, educational institutes, private/business /occupational health offices, as well as those self-employed.  This category also increased sharply for RNs.

All told, the decline in the number of nurses (RN and RPN) in Ontario hospitals in 2011 was a shocking 2,997.  Community health lost 2,144 RNs and RPNs.   LTC saw modest growth (530 more RNs and RPNs).  But the "Other Place of Work" category saw a whopping increase of 3,406 RPNs and RNs - -about a 30% increase.

It appears that employment numbers are declining in the unionized (and, likely, best paid) health care sub-sectors, while it is increasing in less-traditional, non-unionized (and, likely, poorly paid) sub-sectors.

Still, RPN numbers in hospitals, LTC and community health care are well up compared with 2007.  For RNs the picture is more mixed, with a modest increase in hospital employment, a modest decline in LTC, and a sharper decline in community health since 2007.

Also positive, there has been a rapid increase in the number of RPNs employed full-time, with a 33.8% increase since 2007.  In 2011 alone there was an 8.9% increase in RPNs employed full time. It remains unclear from the published data which sub-sectors are underwriting the increase in full-time employment.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Health care funding falls, again

Real provincial government health care funding per-person has fallen again this year in Ontario, the third year in a row.  Since 2009 real funding per-person has fallen 2.6% -- $63 per person. 

Across Canada real per person funding is in its fourth consecutive year of increase. Since 2009, real provincial funding across Canada is up $89 -- 3.6%.
In fact the funding gap between Ontario and Canada as a whole has gown consistently for years (as set out below in current dollars).

Ontario funds health care less than any other province -- indeed, the province that funds health care the second least (B.C.) provides $185 more per person per year, 4.7% more.  
Provincial health care spending in the rest of Canada (excluding Ontario) is now  $574 higher per person annually than in Ontario. 

 Ontario has not always provided lower than average health care funding increases-- but that has been the general pattern since 2005.
Private expenditures on health care have exceeded Ontario government increases …

Ontario long-term care staffing falls far short of other provinces

CUPE and others are campaigning for a legislated minimum average of four worked hours of nursing and personal care per resident per day in long-term care (LTC) facilities.  New research indicates that not only is LTC underfunded in Ontario, it is also understaffed compared to the other provinces. 
LTC staffing falls short:  The latest data published by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (and based on a mandatory survey undertaken by Statistics Canada) indicates that staffing at long-term care (LTC) facilities falls far short of other provinces. 
Part of this is driven by a low level of provincial funding for LTC.





Ontario has 0.575 health care full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) per bed staffed and in operation.[1]  The rest of Canada reports 0.665 health care FTEs.[2] The rest of Canada has 15.7% more health care staff per bed staffed and in operation than Ontario.[3] 


No other province reports fewer LTC health care staff per resident (or per bed) than Ontario.[4]

Occupancy r…

Six more problems with Public Private Partnerships (P3s)

The Auditor General (AG) has again identified issues in her annual reportwhich reflect problems with Ontario health care capacity and privatization.   First, here are six key problems with the maintenance of the 16 privatized P3 ("public private partnership") hospitals in Ontario:
There are long-term ongoing disputes with privatized P3 contractors over the P3 agreements, including about what is covered by the P3  (or “AFP” as the government likes to call them) contract.The hospitals are required to pay higher than reasonable rates tothe P3 contractor for  maintenance work the contractor has deemed to be outside of the P3 contract. Hospitals are almost forced to use P3 contractors to do maintenance work the contractors deem outside of the P3 contract or face the prospect of transferring the risk associated with maintaining the related hospital assets from the private-sector company back to the hospitalP3 companies with poor perf…