Healthcare organizations and politicians have condemned the series of protests against vaccine mandates and other COVID-19-related public health measures that were held outside hospitals across Canada on Monday, considering them as "unacceptable and unfair" to staff and patients. The protests were organized by Canadian Frontline Nurses, a group founded by two Ontario nurses who have promoted conspiracy theories about COVID-19.
Canada was already desperately short of nurses before COVID-19; now nurses say they're hanging on by a thread. And although small communities have it the worst, "the critical shortage of nurses is a problem across the country, including in major cities," said Linda Silas, president of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU), which represents about 200,000 nurses. Experts assure fixing this problem will take strategic planning, incentives for more sustainable work life.
After the high number of deaths have been linked to long-term care homes across the country during the pandemic, people who advocate for elderly residents and staff are hoping that all the attention the long-term care crisis has gotten so far in the federal election could finally lead to real change. “Our governments need to be held accountable for this disaster and for all the lives we lost during COVID.”
As anti-mandatory vaccine protests have been staged across the country in recent weeks, Ontario healthcare workers are speaking up about the demoralizing work conditions they are experiencing because of these demonstrations. Physicians and nurses say protests have an "enormous" impact, both on caregivers and patients, and could make it harder to attract and retain staff.
The province of Ontario, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, will require people to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their vaccination status to access certain businesses and settings such as restaurants, gyms, and sports facilities, starting September 22. According to the local government, the decision was taken to "further protect Ontarians as the province continues to confront the Delta-driven fourth wave of the COVID-19."
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