Silas: Governments must put politics aside, listen to nurses and act on solutions
November 17, 2022 (Ottawa, ON) — Canada’s nurses released a new report today, Sustaining Nursing in Canada, along with their partners the Canadian Health Workforce Network. The report proposes a set of concrete actionable solutions to help meaningfully solve the health care crisis. This starts with protecting patient care and taking steps to address the dire shortage of nurses.
“From emergency room closures to children’s hospitals overrun with sick kids, health care is at a breaking point in every corner of the country,” said Linda Silas, president of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU). “At the heart of this crisis is a dire shortage of nurses. Between years of persistent underfunding and the constant pressure of COVID-19, nurses are in desperate need of real change and support.”
The report, authored by University of Ottawa researchers Dr. Houssem Eddine Ben Ahmed and Dr. Ivy Lynn Bourgeault, focuses on multi-layered solutions to improve health care working conditions and health workforce planning to better weather future crises.
“Nurses are at the heart of solutions,” said Dr. Ben Ahmed. “Retaining and supporting nurses still working, returning and integrating nurses who have left the public health system, and recruiting and mentoring new nurses into a healthier environment – it is through these evidence-based best practices that we can bring Canadian health care back from the brink.”
Canada’s nurses presented solutions from the report to the federal, provincial and territorial ministers of health last week and were dismayed that health care talks ended without any agreement on action to provide relief for nurses and protect patient care.
“Health care and the health workforce are perched precariously on the brink of collapse. It requires immediate action starting today,” said Dr. Bourgeault. “We have gathered in this report a set of practical solutions to set us all on a better and more sustainable course.”
Silas emphasized that solving the health care crisis is within reach, but only if governments have the political will to act with the urgency this crisis demands.
“There is no time for political games – the health and, in some cases, the lives of Canadians hang in the balance.”
Click here to view the full report Sustaining Nursing in Canada.
The CFNU is Canada’s largest nurses’ organization, representing Canada’s frontline nurses in every sector of health care – from home care, LTC, community and acute care, including nursing students – and advocating on key health priorities and federal engagement in the future of public health care.
The CHWN is a volunteer knowledge exchange network of researchers, decision-makers and other knowledge users with expertise in health workforce planning, policy and management. Its mission is to be the Canadian source of health workforce information making it accessible and useful in support of better health system decision-making.
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