On the agenda: solving the crisis facing our country’s largest workforce
OTTAWA—In the days ahead of International Nurses Day, focused on investing in and respecting nurses, leaders from nurses’ unions across the country are coming together to advocate for sustainable solutions to address the nursing shortage.
The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) is hosting a meeting on Friday May 6 with Canada’s Minister of Health the Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos to discuss the role the federal government needs to play in solving the health human resources crisis.
“We know that there is not one province or territory that can fix the critical shortage of nurses and other health workers on their own. Our collective message to the Minister of Health is that we need federal leadership and support,” said Linda Silas, CFNU President.
While nurses unions have been warning about staffing shortages for many years, the transmission of COVID‑19 amongst health care workers has some hospital units and long-term care facilities across the country operating so much overcapacity that they are now being forced to delay surgeries, or even close altogether.
“Nurses and patients in every corner of this country are being hurt by the nurse staffing crisis,” said Silas. “As every province and territory struggles to cope with the realities of the health human resources crisis, working with the federal government is crucial.”
Silas added that the nursing shortage is, in part, an issue of untenable working conditions such as inadequate staffing, mandatory overtime and workplace violence.
“Canada’s nurses applaud the Minister for this meeting as a solid first step in listening to nurses’ concerns and suggestions,” said Silas. “But when one in two nurses are saying they have had enough and want to quit, we need every level of government to work together urgently on lasting, concrete solutions.”
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.
Ben René, CFNU Communications, 613-406-5962, firstname.lastname@example.org