Peter Tabuns MPP, Toronto-Danforth

Government of Ontario


Published on May 7, 2024

QUEEN'S PARK – Today, Official Opposition NDP Health critic France Gélinas and representatives from the province's nurses gathered to discuss her Patient-to-Nurse Ratios for Hospitals Act, 2024, introduced for the first reading yesterday.

Gélinas' Act amends the Health Protection and Promotion Act by adding section 9.1, which sets out the maximum patient-to-nurse ratios that the Ministry of Health must ensure are within the limit.

"Our healthcare system is in disarray, with no relief in sight. Patients, many of whom are elderly and terminally ill, face long waits in emergency rooms and overcrowded hospital hallways. Doug Ford wants you to believe this is the new normal, but Ontarians know it does not have to be this way.

"We know the solution. Studies worldwide have shown that nurse-to-patient ratio policies are the most effective solution for improving nurse staffing and patient outcomes with a good return on investment. Not only does the Act reduce incidents of burnout in the nursing workforce, but it also allows patients to get the best possible care.

“Ontario needs the Conservatives to wake up and support our healthcare professionals and sick patients by implementing this model that is proven to work across the world. We’ve witnessed this initiative implemented by BC's NDP government – it's time Ontario started having the same conversation."


"On behalf of 68,000 nurses and healthcare professionals, I'm proud to support this bill to legislate nurse staffing ratios in Ontario hospitals. Across the province, nurses are simply spread too thin. More nurses burn out and leave their jobs every day, only making matters worse. When there are not enough nurses on the floor, patients don't get the life-saving care they need and deserve. Introducing staffing ratios is critical to retaining and recruiting nurses and improving patient care. We urge all MPPs to support this crucial legislation."

Erin Ariss, RN, President, Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA)

“Legislating nurse to patient ratios is not only good for nurses and patients, but is also a major return on investment for our hospitals,” said Dianne Martin, CEO of the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (WeRPN). “Speaking on behalf of RPNs across the province, I urge all MPPs to support this important legislation. This is a critical issue that affects the health and well-being of our communities today and tomorrow.”

Dianne Martin, CEO of the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (WeRPN).

"Patients are at risk because of the lack of nurses, and nurses are at risk because of unmanageable workloads that contribute to burnout. That failed status quo is driving nurses to retire prematurely. Nurse-to-patient ratios are the solution we need to measure our commitment to patients. Nurse-to-patient ratios turn dangerous and disorganized care into safe and personalized care. Nursing ratios let nurses be nurses. Nursing ratios save lives. If California could do it 25 years ago, Ontario has no excuse but to pass MPP Gélinas' proposed legislation today."

Jackie Walker, Registered Practical Nurse and Executive Vice-President, SEIU Healthcare

The high nurse to patient ratios presently experienced by OPSEU/SEFPO RPNs in all settings are causing nurses to feel overworked, exhausted, and inadequate as they are unable give the kind of care and attention to their patients that their patients deserve and the kind of care that nurses want, need and were trained to give.

RPN Lucy Morton, Chair of OPSEU/SEFPO Community Health Sector.

Patient-to-nurse ratios are an integral component of Ontario’s healthcare system and directly impact the quality of care delivered. By ensuring optimal ratios, Nurse Practitioners can better provide personalized attention, thorough assessments, and timely interventions, ensuring patient safety and positive health outcomes and experiences for all Ontarians. During Nursing Week, we welcome this important piece of legislation and thank all nurses for their essential contributions to Ontario’s health system.

Michelle Acorn, CEO Nurse Practitioners Association of Ontario