WHITEHORSE, July 21, 2016 /CNW/ - Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) First Vice-President Vicki McKenna, RN, is looking forward to having an opportunity to discuss Ontario's health-care system with Premier Kathleen Wynne this morning in Whitehorse.
McKenna, who is in Whitehorse with other nursing leaders from across Canada, will discuss the province's unique health-care challenges at the Canadian Federation of Nurses' Unions (CFNU) briefing with Council of the Federation members.
"Each province and territory in Canada has common challenges with regard to health care, and Ontario shares these but also has unique challenges," said McKenna. "Along with the other leaders of Canada's nurses' unions, I anticipate an honest and fruitful discussion with Premier Wynne as we host the country's provincial and territorial leaders to discuss health-care issues and the solutions to be found in a national pharmacare program."
McKenna says that massive registered nurse (RN) cuts in Ontario hospitals have occurred throughout the province as management try to balance their budgets; provincial hospital funding has been frozen in Ontario's hospitals for multiple years, with an increase that is less than the inflation rate for 2016-17. Other issues facing Ontario RNs include increasing workplace violence, the replacement of RN positions with less-educated workers, and cuts to services.
McKenna and the other nursing leaders believe that a pan-Canadian pharmacare program would save Canada's health-care system billions of dollars, and would enable Premier Wynne to allocate savings to provide appropriate increases to Ontario's cash-starved hospitals. CFNU's briefing also features a number of speakers, including Dr. Steve Morgan, Professor in the School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, and other experts.
ONA is the union representing 62,000 front-line registered nurses and allied health professionals as well as more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in Ontario hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, industry and clinics.
SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association