TORONTO, Oct. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Nurse leaders from the Canadian Federation
of Nurses Unions (CFNU) and the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) met
with Provincial Health Ministers this morning to highlight the
importance of establishing a culture of safety for frontline workers.
The prevention and control of infectious disease (including influenza),
dealing with the realities of health human resources in the workplace,
and the need to enhance public health and safety through an effective
harm reduction approach were all discussed during the briefing which
was followed by an open, productive discussion with the ministers.
During recent discussions with experts in public health, nurses stressed
the need for collaboration between federal, provincial and territorial
governments, employers, employees and all organizations representing
health care providers.
A need for an integrated system of planning and control to support the
health and safety of health care workers, including nurses, and the
different communities of patients who rely on their care was identified
as a priority.
"Addressing this priority will be crucial to improving outcomes in
Canadian health care facilities. Nurses already have one of the highest
absenteeism rates in Canada, and this indicates that health care
workplaces have reached a point that is not safe or acceptable," said
Linda Silas, RN, President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions.
"Ten years after the outbreak of SARS in Ontario, it is important that
the lessons learned not be forgotten," said Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN,
President of the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA). "Ensuring that when
an outbreak occurs we have enough nurses and frontline medical staff
who are equipped with the tools they need to do the job could be the
difference between containment and mass infection."
The CFNU and its provincial nurses' union member organizations presented
the provincial health ministers with some important elements to
consider for a comprehensive strategy to ensure that a culture of
safety governs our health services, and that patients and health care
workers are protected every day, not just in the event of an outbreak.
Nurses are committed to following up with the provincial health
ministers to continue the dialogue to ensure a culture of safety in
health care workplaces and communities across Canada.
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions
For further information:
Anil Naidoo, CFNU: 613-986-5409