Provincial and territorial ministers of health typically hold annual meetings to share information and collaborate on topics of mutual importance. The CFNU hosts a ministers’ health care policy event tied to these meetings, featuring leading experts who share the latest research and recommendations on improving and strengthening Canada’s public health care. The event also provides an opportunity for health ministers to meet with nurses’ union leaders and to hear the perspectives of frontline nurses. Previous topics for the CFNU policy breakfasts include creating nurse-led home care systems, establishing national standards for quality and safety in patient care, and raising nurse staffing ratios.
At the most recent Health Ministers’ Summit in Winnipeg, the CFNU hosted a policy event on June 29, 2018. The event featured the unveiling a first-of-its-kind report by the CFNU, Fulfilling Nurse Practitioners’ Untapped Potential in Canada’s Health Care System. The report includes the results of the largest-ever national survey of Nurse Practitioners (NPs), shared with ministers and policy makers. Manitoba’s Minister of Health, the Hon. Kelvin Goertzen, co-hosted the event with Linda Silas, CFNU President.
Silas outlined how the study’s findings reveal that NPs can be the solution to Canada’s long-standing shortage of primary care providers, access and wait times issues, especially within underserved populations, communities and settings. Silas provided recommendations to the health ministers for how governments can tap into the potential of NPs in their provinces and territories.