Canada's nurses speak with one voice

MONTREAL, Feb. 15 /CNW/ - At the close of the 12th biennial Nursing Leadership Conference, nurses from across the country agreed that tackling chronic illness, and enhancing primary care, home care and pharmacare are solutions that require immediate attention from Canada's government leaders in preparation for the upcoming 2014 Canada health accord.

"In order to ensure that medicare meets the changing health needs of Canadians, we need to revolutionize where and how care is delivered. We urge our political leaders to take immediate action by providing care where and when it's needed most," said Judith Shamian, presiding officer of the conference.

Nurses want strong investment in primary health care, which in part means creating more flexibility so they can meet the challenges of rising rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer's. This involves implementing strategies that enable Canadians to manage their health through better access to care in their homes and in their community. It also means generating greater access to health-care teams that include family doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and other health professionals.

Another serious shortfall of our health system is the insufficient funding of home care. Delivering a range of services to seniors in their homes is a more effective way of preventing the needless burden being placed on emergency departments across the country.

One in 10 Canadians report not filling a prescription or skipping a dose because of cost. A national pharmacare program, which Canada's nurses have been demanding for well over a decade, is an essential component in revolutionizing the way we prevent and treat disease.

The upcoming 2014 federal, provincial and territorial Canada health accord presents a critical window to bring the care that Canadians need outside of hospital walls and into neighbourhood services, ensuring the sustainability of our health care system for future generations. The Academy of Canadian Executive Nurses, the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions and the Canadian Nurses Association, representing well over 200,000 nurses across the country, call Canada's governments to action.

For further information:

Jean Riverin
External Communications Coordinator
Canadian Nurses Association
Tel: 613-237-2159 ext. 553
jriverin@cna-aiic.ca