August 16, 2021 (OTTAWA, ON) – With Canadians officially heading to the polls this fall, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions has launched a voter awareness campaign decrying inaction over a national shortage of nurses that has reached a critical level in nearly every part of the country. Canada’s nurses are calling on political parties to make clear commitments addressing the nursing shortage and other dire shortcomings in Canada’s strained health care system.
“Throughout the pandemic, nurses have been working short staffed and doing untold amounts of overtime – sometimes mandatory, and in single shifts of up to 24-hours in length,” said Linda Silas, president of the CFNU.
“Without concrete action from our next government, Canada risks an exodus of nurses from our beleaguered system. Nurses are calling on all political parties and candidates to commit to investing in safe staffing levels and improving working conditions to keep experienced nurses where they belong – at their patient’s side.”
A national pre-COVID survey found that 60 per cent of nurses intended to leave their jobs within the year, with more than a quarter saying they wanted to leave nursing altogether. Following the pressures of the last seventeen months, nurses are expected to leave the profession in droves, leaving longer wait times and insufficient care in their wake.
“Nurses are asking voters to pressure their candidates to address key issues, including investing in and supporting nurses, fixing long-term care, expanding access to quality child care, and finally ensuring everyone can get the medications they need through universal pharmacare,” said Silas.
The organization has launched a landing page, thenextcrisis.ca, and digital advertisements in regions across the country. The campaign highlights deep cracks in Canada’s health care system that have been exposed – and worsened – by the pandemic.
“We are already in the midst of the next health care crisis,” Silas emphasized. “Without immediate and significant attention, the future of Canada’s health care is in jeopardy.”
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