Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU)

Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU)

March 08, 2012 12:00 ET

Nurses Call on the Federal and Provincial Governments to Develop a Joint Plan of Action to Address Needs of Seniors and Others Requiring Ongoing Care

Status Quo is not an Option

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 8, 2012) - Nurses join in calls for governments to engage collectively in developing an action plan to address the deepening crisis in continuing care. The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) is making this call during a national conference that has brought close to 100 experts on various aspects of continuing care together in Ottawa. Experts agree that a concerted, collective effort needs to be made to develop a common vision, principles, goals and standards to ensure better integrated quality care for frail elderly and other vulnerable populations requiring prolonged care.

"Equitable access to quality health care based on need and not ability to pay is a shared value, but we are not walking the talk when it comes to continuing care," says Linda Silas, president of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU). "There are growing gaps in quality and service of home care and long term care across the country and we need a plan to close the care gap."

CFNU has hosted this national discussion less than two months after the Premiers announced a Health Care Innovation Working Group, to enhance capacity to better meet new challenges in health care, including the needs of seniors and patients with chronic conditions.

"An integrated system of continuing care is a cornerstone of high-performing health care systems," said John G. Abbott, CEO of the Health Council of Canada and speaker at the CFNU conference. "Canada's challenge ahead is to adjust priorities appropriately ensuring our funding follows the needs of those who require care at home and within the community."

The issue of Health Human Resources is one of the areas of focus of the Premiers Health Care Innovation Working Group, and a focus of the CFNU National Discussion on Continuing Care. Questions on how to optimize both paid and unpaid care providers while recognizing that working conditions directly impact on the quality of patient care thread the discussion.

"Home and community care for people with ongoing health needs may keep them out of hospitals for a while, but it is a false economy if there is not adequate staffing and other resources in that sector", noted Pat Armstrong, Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology at York University and panelist.

CFNU will be publishing key considerations on continuing care to share with the Premiers Innovation Health Care Working Group, based on the National Discussion on Continuing Care, March 8.

The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) represents over 160,000 nurses.

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