Nurses' Unions Encouraged by Premiers' reaction

Publish date: Friday, July 26, 2013


Health care

The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions is encouraged by statements, regarding health care, from the Premiers' Council of the Federation Summit and is urging governments to implement further health care strategies in the future.

Premiers have identified federal cuts to health care transfers as a major concern and called on the federal government to avoid unilateral cutbacks affecting essential public services. They cited the example of the federal government's reduction to the Canada Health Transfer of almost $36 billion over 10 years, compared to the current arrangements under the 2004 Health Accord.

"We are encouraged by the premiers’ sense of urgency in dealing with these federal government cutbacks," said Linda Silas, President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions. "Every day nurses see the impact of what happens when provinces have to cut back health care in communities. Health care is a shared responsibility, and this means all partners need to be committed."

The Premiers’ Health Care Innovation Working Group (HCIWG), established in January 2012, focuses on practical innovations that each province and territory can put to use to help ensure the sustainable delivery of health care services. The group will now be co-led by Ontario, Alberta and the Yukon for the next three years.

Silas said that nurses’ unions look forward to working together with the HCIWG to build a strong health care system. Essential components of a strong health care system include:

  • delivery of appropriate and quality care;
  • an aging care strategy;
  • a mental health strategy;
  • an Aboriginal health strategy;
  • making prescription drugs accessible to all Canadians; and
  • maintaining a strong acute care sector.

"As nurses’ organizations, representing frontline health care workers, we would welcome the opportunity to work with every premier and minister of health to ensure a strong future for public health care in Canada," she said.



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