Nurses Unions Encouraged by Premiers' Health Care Reaction at Council of the Federation

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ON, July 26, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions is encouraged by statements from the Premiers on health care at the summer meeting of the Council of the Federation, 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. "Everyday nurses see the impacts when provinces have to cut back health care in communities across the country. Health care is a shared responsibility, and this means all partners need to be committed."

"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," said Silas.

The Premiers' Health Care Innovation Working Group (HCIWG), established in January 2012, will now be co-led by Ontario, Alberta and the Yukon for the next three years. Nurses' unions look forward to working together with the HCIWG to build a strong health care system.

Nurses' unions across the country are advocates for 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. These are all essential components needed to ensure a strong future for health care in Canada.

The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) represents close to 200,000 nurses and student nurses, working in acute care, long-term care, home care, in public health, and community health care. The CFNU speaks to all levels of government, other health care stakeholders and the public about evidence-based policy options to improve patient care, working conditions and our public health care system.

SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions

For further information:

Linda Silas, President
Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions

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Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions

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