The Health System Canada's Nurses Want: Innovative and Productive

    OTTAWA, Oct. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's health system will succeed in
meeting the health needs of Canadians only if a significant commitment to
innovation and productivity in health care is made by the federal government.
    "CNA will be looking for investments aimed at improving the efficiency
and effectiveness of the health system in tomorrow's speech from the throne,"
said Marlene Smadu, president of the Canadian Nurses Association. "We will be
looking for commitments to accelerate innovative solutions - solutions that
improve the productivity of the health system."
    CNA calls on the federal government to support health professionals in
areas such as information technology, skills development and new models of
care delivery.

    Accelerated implementation of information and communications technology
    in the health sector

    According to Smadu, the health system will benefit from the right
investments in information technology. For example, a 2005 study points to
potential savings in the range of $6 billion per year with the full adoption
of ICT in the health sector.

    Investments in skill-enhancing development

    Use of simulation equipment in education and skills development helps
create well-prepared graduates. "Provinces such as Ontario have seen the
benefits of technology and have invested in simulation equipment," said Smadu.
"We want nursing students across the country to have this same advantage."

    Supports for new models of care

    "CNA wants the federal government to walk the talk about strengthening
Canada's competitive advantage. It wants the federal government to move
research from the bench to the bedside to enhance the effectiveness of the
health system," said Smadu. "It is a matter of supporting the health of all
    Smadu pointed to the Nursing in Your Family Practice program led by the
Capital District Health Authority in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which develops
collaborative teams aimed at optimizing the role of health professionals in
primary care settings. After six months, health-care teams have reported an
average 52% increase in the number of patients who are regularly scheduled in
each hour, and average wait times for appointments have improved from an
average of 1-2 weeks to the same day or next day. Most of the practices
involved in this program are now accepting new patients on a limited basis or
are able to assume care for patients from practices that have closed or are
"downsizing." This type of model can benefit other communities so that all
Canadians can have improved access to primary care.

    CNA is the national professional voice of registered nurses in Canada. It
is a federation of 11 provincial and territorial professional associations and
regulatory authorities for registered nurses. CNA believes that the
sustainability of a publicly funded, publicly administered, not-for-profit
health system rests upon a vibrant nursing workforce.

For further information:

For further information: Tina Grznar, communications specialist,
Canadian Nurses Association, (613) 237-2159 ext. 283, cell: (613) 240-7830,

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