OTTAWA, June 12, 2013 /CNW/ - Data from the eighth report card issued by
the Wait Time Alliance (WTA) clearly shows what nurses have been saying
for years, Canadians are waiting too long for care and governments need
to prioritize health care now.
"For next month's Council of the Federation this is a clear wake-up call
for all governments," said Linda Silas, President of the Canadian
Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU). "It is not acceptable that as wait
time improvements stall, governments are not ensuring adequate
investments in quality health care in Canada.
This report confirms what over 800 nurses' union leaders from across
Canada discussed during their biennial convention last week in Toronto:
social determinants of health significantly impact health care outcomes
and positive structural change in the Canadian health care system is
urgently needed. Nurses also noted a shortage of long-term care spaces
coupled with an inadequate number of qualified staff continues to
burden the system. It is critical that nurses be involved in policy
development in order to ensure safe, efficient, and sustainable health
systems decisions are made.
"We have a federal government that is effectively cutting transfers to
health care and refusing to discuss a new health care accord with the
provinces," said Silas. "The response from many provinces is to reduce
investments in health care and this is just not acceptable, it is the
patient and health care workers who bear the brunt of these cuts or
The 2013 WTA report card, "Time for transformation: Canadians still waiting too long for health
care," reaffirms findings from 2011's report card showing significant numbers
of hospital beds are occupied by patients waiting for alternate levels
of care, such as rehabilitative care, home care or long-term care.
This is a significant barrier to patient safety and threatens to
overwhelm the health care system.
"Last week we released a Praxis Analytics poll which supported the
evidence in the Wait Times Alliance report" said Silas, "Canadians are
concerned about a shortage of long-term care spaces and qualified
staff, we urgently needs a focused and coordinated effort to address
the growing gaps in quality and availability of home care and long-term
care across the country."
This report card acts as yet another wake up call, also raising alarms
about rising drug costs and aging: CFNU and their members continue to
call for National Pharmacare and a National Strategy on Aging which
would include, as echoed by the Wait Times Alliance, a national
strategy on dementia to address the increasing numbers of Alzheimer's
and other dementia-related conditions.
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions
For further information:
Anil Naidoo, Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, 613-986-5409, firstname.lastname@example.org