March 22, 2016 (Ottawa) - Today the federal government released details of the 2016 budget, including reaffirming the election promise to engage with the provincial and territorial governments to renegotiate a new Health Accord. Canada’s nurses welcome this, along with commitments to increase child care benefits, improving immunization coverage, and investments for those who need it most, including seniors, Indigenous Peoples, and veterans.
“Over the coming months we expect more movement towards investing in health care as the federal, provincial and territorial governments negotiate Canada’s next Health and Social Accord,” said CFNU President Linda Silas. “Canada’s nurses know the impact of poor health financing – we see and feel the cut backs happening in our hospitals every day and the lack of home care available to Canadians. Patients and their families suffer. It is time to negotiate a new Health and Social Accord with the provinces and territories, and for the federal government to pay their fair share.”
In the weeks leading up to the budget, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) offered clear recommendations during the pre-budget consultation process, focusing on implementing a new Health and Social Accord.
Canada’s nurses believe that all levels of government must work together to set a strong course forward for Canada by implementing a Health and Social Accord that includes:
- Stable Federal Health Care Funding (to a minimum of 25% by 2025)
- Coordinated Health Human Resources Planning
- A National Prescription Drug Plan (Pharmacare)
- A Canadian Strategy for Healthy Aging
- Improved Access to Health Services in Home and Community Settings
- Improved Access to Mental Health Services
“Now that the budget is released it is time for better coordination of health and social services by all levels of government,” said CFNU president Linda Silas. “We must respond to the needs of people whose health is most at risk with an integrated approach to improving the health of Canadians.”
Canada’s nurses will be taking recommendations for Canada’s next Health and Social Accord directly to Health Minister Jane Philpott in a meeting scheduled in the coming weeks.
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 further information please contact:
Government Relations Officer