Robots to Replace Nurses in Ontario Hospitals

Mark my words, this will all end in tears. The Ontario Ministry of Health just announced a new pilot project to replace bedside nurses with robots as a cost-cutting measure:

“We’re quite excited about this new initiative,” said Minister of Health Deb Matthews. “We’re looking at innovative ways to trim health care costs, and your provincial government believes this is one of the most promising.”

Queen’s Park plans up to 12 pilot projects in acute and long-term care facilities. The robots would provide direct care, such as bathing and walking patients, as well as assessing patients and handing out medications.

Providing Care for Ontarians?

[snip]

The Ontario Hospital Association is pleased with the new measure. “The escalating cost of nursing is causing all our members to run deficits,” said a spokesperson for OHA. “We’re glad the government is finally taking measures to contain nurses, that is, nursing costs and addressing the nursing shortage at the same time.”

The College of Nurses of Ontario, which governs Ontario’s nurses, is reportedly in discussions with government to develop a regulatory framework to allow the new robot nurses to practice.

“Clearly, it’s an issue that needs to be addressed,” a CNO insider said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “We’re actively looking at a new registration category, RRN — registered robotic nurse — to ensure continued accountability and to protect the public.”

[snip]

I hate to be really negative, but you have to wonder when such foolishness is going to end.

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  1. #1 by DreamingTree on Thursday 01 April 2010 - 0859

    This might be my favorite holiday. ;-)

  2. #2 by ck on Thursday 01 April 2010 - 0904

    Thanks for sharing that. Such an opportune time for you to release this, especially if you have many followers from Quebec, such as myself.

    Presently, our nurses are overworked and like pretty much all of the Quebec civil servants these days, we’re all in contract negotiations. Yes, the Common Front is back.

    Everything is timing these days; including Jean Charest’s new unprecedented budget.

    My father has been hospitalized in Ontario for over 3 months now and due to the fact that he receives all his meds through a pic line and not orally like the rest of the world, my dad will always need a hospital setting. I’m not comfortable with the idea of a machine “nursing” my father.

  3. #3 by wilomis on Thursday 01 April 2010 - 1401

    This is going to end in tears indeed. I have a healthy fear of technology, especially robots (see this post http://wilomis.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/001311.png). I hope this day never comes because all the sci-fi I grew up reading and watching depicted robots as cold, emotionless creatures…. If robots come to take my future employment call me John Connor, RN.

  4. #4 by wilomis on Thursday 01 April 2010 - 1403

    sorry here is the correct link for above. http://wilomis.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/001311.png

  5. #5 by JennJilks on Thursday 01 April 2010 - 1612

    Have you seen the robots, though? I heard about them in an Aussie story.

    They are hilarious!!!! Click on this link. It will be a few years before they work!!!

  6. #6 by DreamingTree on Thursday 01 April 2010 - 1852

    So, was I wrong to assume that this was an April Fools Day joke?

  7. #7 by torontoemerg on Thursday 01 April 2010 - 2213

    Thanks for the all the comments. A further thought: please check out this link.

  8. #8 by shrtstormtrooper on Friday 02 April 2010 - 0807

    It will be a sad day indeed.

  1. Robots to Replace Nurses in Ontario Hospitals « Those Emergency Blues
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