TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - October 18, 2016) - Today, as federal, provincial and territorial health ministers continue to negotiate a new Health Accord, Canada's nurses call on all governments to focus on what is at stake for Canadians and for the future of health care in this country.
"From what we are hearing from the current negotiations, it is being presented as an 'either-or' proposition," said Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) President Linda Silas. "Nurses know that the answer is both, we need new investments and new initiatives to address the needs of patients, and we believe new funding must be tied to health care."
Canadians need the new Health Accord to ensure the stability of our health care systems today and for generations to come. The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions believes that the next Health Accord must include increased health transfers which are assured to go to patients, communities and better health care. The new accord must also include measures that address the challenges faced by health care, including addressing the need for improved access to home care, pharmacare, mental health and Indigenous health issues.
"Canada needs to embrace cost-saving measures, such as a national pharmacare," said Silas. "Right now as much as $14 billion per year is being wasted because our governments are not committed to one national pharmacare system. Shame on all levels of government. Canadians need action -- health care funding is inadequate, and we have billions being wasted on high prescription drug costs, while 1 in 10 Canadians don't get the medicines they need."
Canada's nurses call upon federal ministers to work together to create a national prescription drug program, to reach an agreement on 25% federal health care funding by 2025, and to include real targets that will be administered and delivered by the provinces under a federal umbrella. It's time to set aside differences and work together.
On behalf of the nearly 200,000 nurses that the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions represents, we are calling on health ministers to recommend that Canada's First Ministers set a clear course forward for Canada by implementing a Health and Social Accord that includes:
- Stable Federal Health Care Funding (to a minimum of 25% by 2025)
- Coordinated Health Human Resources Planning
- A National Prescription Drug Plan (Pharmacare)
- A Canadian Strategy for Healthy Aging
- Improved Access to Health Services in Home and Community Settings
- Improved Indigenous Health
The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) is Canada's largest nurses' organization representing nearly 200,000 nurses and student nurses. The CFNU has been advocating for national discussions on key health priorities, such as a national prescription drug plan, a comprehensive approach to long-term and continuing care, greater attention to health human resources, and federal government engagement on the future of public health care.