Conference reminds Premiers that access to health must be their priority

    MONCTON, N.B., Aug. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Nurses and health stakeholders from
across the country are gathered today in Moncton for a national conference on
health care hosted by the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions.
    The conference, How soon is now, Health care for every generation, brings
together health care leaders from across Canada. With CFNU President Linda
Silas as chair, the conference features a key note address by National Chief
Phil Fontaine of the Assembly of First Nations, and panel sessions on health
issues and disparities with Ted Schrecker (University of Ottawa), Dr. Bob
Gardner (Wellesley Institute), Dr. Steve Morgan (University of British
Columbia), Dr. Judith Shamian (Victorian Order of Nurses), and Dr. John Gillis
(Canadian Doctors for Medicare).
    On the eve of the Council of the Federation meetings, the conference
reminds Premiers to keep health care on their meeting agenda. "This conference
sends a clear message to Premiers," says Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions
president Linda Silas, RN. "A generation ago, Canadians made equal access to
health a priority and this has not changed. Let's stop talking about "should
we or shouldn't we" privatize health care, "should we or shouldn't we" allow
doctors to double-dip, or encourage a "30-minutes or its free" attitude about
our health. Instead, get on with supporting and expanding our health care
system to include better Aboriginal health, expanded home care services and
the implementation of a national pharmaceutical program for all Canadians."
    CFNU's latest publication, Conversations with Champions of Medicare will
be launched at the conference. A celebration of the past, present and future
of our publicly-funded, publicly-delivered health care system, medicare
champions including the Honourable Monique Bégin, the Honourable Allan
Blakeney, Kathleen Connors, Shirley Douglas, Tom Kent, the Honourable Roy
Romanow, Dr. Hugh Scully, Evelyn Shapiro, and Sharon Sholzberg-Gray in
conversation with journalist Ann Silversides, remind all of us exactly what is
at stake during these charged health care debates.
    "The lessons taught us by these medicare champions are inspiring,"
concludes Linda Silas. "Their commitment and support for our publicly-funded,
publicly-delivered health care system should serve as a model for us all. We
urge the Premiers to be real champions and to set aside other health care
agendas that will only result in access to health based on ability to pay, not
on what is medically necessary."

    Media Welcome

    What:    Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions conference
             How soon is now? Health care for every generation
    When:    Wednesday, August 8, 2007, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm
    Where:   Crowne Plaza Hotel, Westmorland/Carleton Room
             1005 Main Street, Moncton, New Brunswick  1-506-854-6340

    Copies of Conversations with Champions of Medicare are available on
August 8 at the conference, or by contacting our office at 1-800-321-9821.

For further information:

For further information: Linda Silas, (Cell): (613) 859-4314, CFNU
President; Teresa Neuman, (Cell): (613) 292-9106, Acting Director of
Communications/Campaigns, CFNU; To contact the Champions of Medicare: Ann
Silversides, author, 1-800-321-9821, (Leave message with CFNU office);
Kathleen Connors, 1-800-321-9821, (Leave message with CFNU office); Tom Kent,
(613) 542-6873, (August 8); Dr. Hugh Scully, (416) 565-0425, (cell); Evelyn
Shapiro, (204) 453-6413, (August 8); Sharon Sholzberg-Gray, (613) 241-8005,
ext. 202. (August 8)

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Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions

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