During the past week, Canada celebrated National Nursing Week. Coinciding with the birthday of the founder of modern nursing Florence Nightingale, the event this year also marked her 200th birthday.
Our daily quality of life depends on nurses in community health, long term care, home care, emergency cases, and hospital and clinical visits. As this current pandemic unfolds, nurses also deal with unknowns, scared patients, and a quickly changing landscape. Like all our first responders, nurses demonstrate the courage to put themselves at risk for others and the commitment to helping people and communities.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges of nursing are multiplied several fold. Not only do nurses put themselves in harm’s way, but they also stress about the safety of their families and friends. Brian Beattie of London, Ont., is the first registered nurse to die of the coronavirus and we read that eight health-care workers have died of COVID-19 in Canada.
We expect that nurses and all health care professionals are supported with effective health care policies, adequate resources, modern facilities, the best training, and sufficient staffing. We are saddened to see how a crisis showed that parts of our health care system, the long-term care programs in particular, were inadequate to start with. We look forward to a conversation and to demonstrate our commitment to working with you and improving our health care system.
Thank you for your caring and professional service.
President, Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry Provincial Liberal Association