The Star (June 23): Nurses face racism every day


Re: Woman’s racist outburst speaks volumes, Paradkar, June 21

Woman’s racist outburst speaks volumes, Paradkar, June 21

It saddens me to write that Ontario’s nurses are not surprised to read the report of the racist woman in a GTA walk-in clinic demanding to see a “white” doctor. This is the reality each and every day for those of us working to provide quality patient care on the front lines.

Unfortunately, racism is alive and well in Ontario. It is, unfortunately, all too common that Ontario nurses encounter patients who demand a “white nurse,” or a “straight nurse” or a “Canadian nurse.” Verbal and physical violence against those of us in this profession is a common thing.

One news report of this incident noted that physicians can refuse to treat patients. Nurses have no such rights and we continue to look to our employers to take action to stem this type of racism and violence that should very simply, not be tolerated.

As nurses, we are committed to caring for patients who need us. It’s time to take action to stop the daily abuse and racism that is so common in our health-care system.

Linda Haslam-Stroud, president, Ontario Nurses’ Association, Toronto

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