TORONTO, May 12, 2015 /CNW/ - As registered nurses, registered practical nurses, nurse practitioners and allied health professionals across Ontario mark Florence Nightingale's birthday, they and the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) have also vowed to stand up for the country's health-care system this federal election.
For the first time in its history, the CFNU and the eight provincial nurses unions it represents (including the Ontario Nurses' Association) will register as third-party advertisers.
"With proposed cuts of $36 billion over the next 10 years, we cannot wait any longer to take a stand and defend our country's health care system," said CFNU President Linda Silas, RN. "The needs of health care services are increasing, especially as our population ages, yet budget cuts make it impossible to answer those needs."
As noted by Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, "As nurses, we are patient advocates. Ontario has lost 800,000 hours of RN care this year alone, and we fully support the CFNU's efforts to highlight the decline of health-care spending."
Nurses say the three areas that are most important to the health-care system are: developing a safe seniors strategy, creating and implementing a national pharmacare policy, and protecting nurses and other health care workers with a safe staffing strategy.
"Canadians pay more for prescription drugs than nearly every other developed country, our seniors don't have access to the care they need, and nurses are working millions of overtime hours each year, while assaults against health care workers rise," Silas said.
The CFNU urges Canadians – as they celebrate the success of nurses during National Nursing Week – to push the discussion forward on treating front-line health care workers fairly.
"Actions speak louder than words," said Silas, "and we're using this week to demand federal leadership on these issues to strengthen our health care system and secure the safety of all Canadians moving forward."
Haslam-Stroud adds that, "Health care is not just a provincial issue. The funds come from Ottawa, and we all need to make health care a priority on the federal level to ensure our patients receive the quality care they need and deserve."
A full launch of CFNU's federal election strategy will take place at the CFNU biennial convention in Halifax from June 1-5.
The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions represents close to 200,000 nurses and student nurses. Our members work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, community health care and our homes. ONA is the union representing 60,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals, as well as more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in hospitals, long-term care, the community, public health, clinics and industry.
SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association
For further information: Linda Silas, CFNU President, at 613-526-4661 or [email protected]