RNAO releases federal platform comparison: where each party stands on health issues

TORONTO, Oct. 2, 2015 /CNW/ - With the tightly contested federal election campaign entering its final weeks, Ontario's registered nurses (RN), nurse practitioners (NP) and nursing students are calling on all Canadians to cast an informed vote.

Polls show the major parties still jockeying for position as the Oct. 19 election approaches. To help voters make a choice that reflects the federal government's key role in shaping health and health-care policy, the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) has created a platform comparison analyzing the four major parties' stance on various health-care, social and environmental issues.

The comparison shows where the Conservative, NDP, Liberal and Green parties stack up against Why Health Matters, RNAO's 2015 federal election platform. Why Health Matters provides evidence-based recommendations on policies important to nurses – including a universal pharmacare plan, a national poverty-reduction strategy, increased RN- and NP-to-population ratios, and tackling climate change.

"This is as close an election as we've seen in recent memory, and so every single vote will be crucial in determining the direction Canada takes in the coming years," says RNAO President Vanessa Burkoski. "That's why it's imperative votes are backed by evidence, and cast after careful consideration of each party's election promises."

To create the comparison, RNAO's policy experts pored over dozens of documents, and sent a questionnaire to party leaders to ensure voters have an accurate representation of the parties' positions. The questionnaire covered a broad spectrum of topics that must be addressed by the next federal government, says RNAO Chief Executive Officer Doris Grinspun.

"Health care may be administered by the provinces, but keeping Canadians healthy is something that requires strong federal leadership, and an understanding of the diverse factors that affect health," says Grinspun." Nurses have their fingers on the pulse of the health system, and so we're making sure these important issues – and how each party plans to address them – are front and centre as people cast their vote on Oct. 19."

Canadians can find out where and how to exercise their democratic right by visiting the Elections Canada website.

This year marks the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario's (RNAO) 90th anniversary. The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing students in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses' contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve. For more information about RNAO, visit our website at RNAO.ca or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

SOURCE Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

For further information: To interview a nurse, contact: Daniel Punch, Communications Officer/Writer, Registered Nurses', Association of Ontario, 416-408-5606, dpunch@RNAO.ca


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