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August 22, 2022

Canada’s nurses demand transparency and collaboration from premiers

Health Human Resources

It’s time to work together to save public health care, without secret meetings or agendas

As provinces publicly discuss privatizing health care, Canada’s nurses are discouraged that some premiers are gathering for a summit on the dire state of the health care system, without including the workers who hold it together.

The meeting of premiers from Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island comes just six weeks after the Council of the Federation, where nurse union leaders offered solutions to the growing crisis directly to premiers.

Today, Premier Doug Ford will have private meetings with Premier Blaine Higgs, Premier Dennis King and federal Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic Leblanc before the summit. Meetings that are crucial to the future of public health care should not and cannot happen behind closed doors.

Safe patient care is being threatened as the health human resources crisis has continued to rage on unabated throughout the summer, with over 200 ERs closing on and off across the country.

Rather than act on concrete solutions from nurses and health care advocates, provincial leaders have positioned privatization of our cherished public health care system as “non-status quo thinking” that offers “innovative solutions” to the staffing crisis.

The evidence is clear: privatizing health care is not only more expensive for taxpayers, but it also erodes access to care and results in worse health outcomes for patients. Privatization simply has no place in Canada’s health care system.

Collaboration across provincial, territorial and federal governments with health care leaders is crucial to solving the critical staffing shortages and protecting safe patient care.

Canada’s nurses are ready to work with all levels of government on sustainable solutions to stop the bleed and return pride to our public health care system.

As the first step in collaboration, Canada’s nurses are urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland to call a First Ministers’ Meeting to discuss a pan-Canadian action plan to retain and recruit health care workers.

One strategy nurses are calling for is a national health workforce planning agency to improve decision-making through enhanced data and coordination, and ensure our public health system meets the needs of Canadians now and into the future.

Nurses always step up, from one crisis to another, to care for patients across Canada. Our elected officials must do the same and step up to support nurses and protect patient care. Nurses have the solutions. It’s time for governments to listen.

To schedule an interview or for further information, please contact:
CFNU Media Relations
Adella Khan, 613-807-2942

New Brunswick Nurses Union Media Relations
Holly Crawford, 506-453-7265

Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union Media Relations
Coleen Logan, 962-468-0283

Ontario Nurses’ Association Media Relations
Sheree Bond, 416-964-8833, ext. 2430

PEI Nurses’ Union Media Relations
Monic Vokey, (902) 388-4721