OTTAWA, March 22, 2016 /CNW/ - Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) CEO Anne Sutherland Boal applauds the government for providing $242 million over two years in new health-care investments that address preventive and long-term health issues. She is also looking forward to the outcome of discussions on a new multi-year health accord that federal Health Minister Jane Philpott is having with provincial and territorial ministers of health. CNA anticipates that these discussions will lead to the kind of quality health services Canadians have said they want and need.
"While Finance Minister Bill Morneau's maiden budget did not provide specifics about the federal government's allocation of health dollars to the provinces and territories, CNA is hopeful that the discussions underway on the new health accord will seek a shift to patient-centred care in homes and communities and, among other things, improve access to home care and mental health services," said Sutherland Boal.
"We look forward to building on the productive meetings we've previously had with the health minister, government officials and other parliamentarians in advance of the new health accord. In these discussions, CNA will continue its work to secure a robust accountability framework within the accord's long-term funding agreement to provide better results for Canadians. As we recommended to the Standing Committee on Finance, such a framework would use publicly accessible data to report on federal heath funding and health and social outcomes.
"A new framework should include a needs-based top-up for each province and territory based on demographic differences, such as age and the number of people living in rural or remote areas," said Sutherland Boal.
In addition, she commented on the government's renewed commitment to Indigenous communities through $8.4 billion over five years to improve socio-economic conditions. This investment includes nearly $3.7 billion for education ($969.4 million in First Nations on-reserve infrastructure) and $270 million for health infrastructure. "While we believe these initiatives meet our call for funding to build educational facilities and satellite learning centres and to expand broadband services for distance education, the government must also consider non-First Nations peoples," said Sutherland Boal.
In its pre-budget submission, CNA had asked the government to invest in health care for rural and remote communities, calling for $100 million (annually) over four years to improve social infrastructure and $25 million (annually) over four years to improve educational infrastructure and learning opportunities for students and health-care professionals.
These measures, identified in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report, support the efforts of CNA, the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association (formerly A.N.A.C.) and others to end education barriers that are leading to enduring health and social disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.
Over the weeks and months ahead, CNA will work to advise the federal government on how these new investments can lead to positive outcomes for our country's health-care system.
CNA is the national professional voice representing nearly 139,000 registered nurses in Canada. CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada's publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.
SOURCE Canadian Nurses Association
For further information: David Granovsky, Manager of Government Relations, Canadian Nurses Association, Telephone: 613-237-2159, ext. 525, Cell: 613-697-7497, E-mail: [email protected]