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December 9, 2016

Canada’s nurses serve up new survey findings leading up to premier’s dinner meeting on health care

Media Release

(Friday December 9, 2016 – OTTAWA) – Today the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) released new findings from a public opinion poll commissioned to gain further insight into Canadians’ attitudes towards health issues since the last federal election.

The questions focused on Canadians’ perspectives on access to prescription drugs, the federal government’s priorities and the involvement that they should have in health care.

The findings indicated that 77% of respondents support a universal public drug plan to ensure that all Canadians are covered for necessary prescription drugs, and revealed that, in the past year, one in five Canadians have not filled a prescription due to the cost, which supports past survey findings.

“As nurses, every shift, every day we see the impact that not having a national pharmacare program has on our patients, and on our provincial and territorial health care budgets,” said CFNU President, Linda Silas.

Respondents also rated health care as the top priority (87%) over a number of policy areas for the federal government over the next five years. Over half of respondents also indicated that they would like to see the federal government increase its involvement in health care in the future.

Canada’s nurses release these survey results, leading up to the First Ministers’ dinner meeting on health care, scheduled tonight in Ottawa with the federal government. Yesterday, the CFNU also provided all premiers with a new report titled: Down the Drain: How Canada Has Wasted $62 Billion Health Care Dollars without Pharmacare, where noted economist Hugh Mackenzie calculates the disturbing amount Canada has wasted over the past 10 years by not implementing national pharmacare.

“Canadians have to demand more from our governments, and pharmacare is a clear example where public pressure is needed to push politicians to do the right thing,” said Silas. “The evidence has all been compiled and delivered into the hands of decision makers – now we need action.”

Read the survey here.

The survey was conducted November 15-21, 2016, by EKOS Research Associates. In total, a random sample of over 1,000 Canadians responded to the survey.


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.


For more information please contact:

Emily Doer, Communications Officer



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