Canada's Frontline Nurses Stand with Premiers Calling for Federal Action on Health Care

Charlottetown, Aug. 27, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions today called for the federal government and all political parties to commit to stable funding and national leadership respecting the demographic shifts impacting health care in Canada. At an event featuring Premier Robert Ghiz of Prince Edward Island, with representatives of other provincial governments and health care stakeholder groups, the CFNU outlined a series of reforms leading to a national pharmacare program that could achieve $11 billion in annual savings. The funds from lowered prescription drug costs would be reinvested into our health care system to ensure patient safety and quality of care.

"By next fall we will have a federal election, it is important that political parties clearly tell Canadians what their position is on the key issues, such as health care," said Linda Silas, President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions. "We are adding our voice to that of the country's premiers who have been calling for substantive federal partnership on health care," said Silas.

The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions represents close to 200,000 frontline nurses and have been calling for a national pharmacare program that would reduce costs as much as 11 billion dollars per year. Noted expert on pharmaceutical policy Dr. Marc-Andre Gagnon presented evidence from his recent report A Roadmap to a Rational Pharmacare Policy in Canada, where he calculated the lowered costs of prescription drugs across provinces, if Canada adopted a universal pharmacare program. "Every other developed country with universal health care has a pharmacare program, except Canada," said Dr. Gagnon, "and they all pay considerably less for their prescription drugs." "Canada needs to act quickly, otherwise drug costs will squeeze out investments in other critical areas of health care."

"Premiers understand we cannot wait for the federal government to act, so during the last two Council of the Federation meetings, we have announces significant reductions in prescription drug costs through our Pan-Canadian Pricing Alliance initiative," said Premier Ghiz of PEI. "The federal government has the capacity to invest in health care in Canada, and we believe it has the duty as well," said Ghiz.

"Nurses are pleased to stand with our premiers in this call," concluded Silas, "with no Health Accord and a federal election around the corner, now is the time for action."

The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions represents close to 200,000 nurses and student nurses. Our members working in hospitals, long-term care facilities, community health care and our homes.

The full report A Roadmap to a Rational Pharmacare Policy in Canada is available at www.nursesunions.ca

SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions

For further information: Linda Silas, CFNU President, at 613-526-4661 or lsilas@nursesunions.ca

RELATED LINKS
http://www.nursesunions.ca/

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