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Canada’s nurses push for 2016 federal budget with innovative and cost-effective options for health care

February 17, 2016, Ottawa — Today, the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), the national, professional voice of nearly 139,000 registered nurses across Canada, offered the House of Commons standing committee on finance innovative and cost-effective ways for the 2016 federal budget to support better health, better care and better value for all Canadians, with particular focus on seniors and Indigenous people.

“Ahead of the 2016 federal budget, Canada’s nurses, who provide direct front-line care to Canadians, are proposing measures for a more accessible community-based care approach that emphasizes health promotion, chronic disease prevention and management, and client-centered, accessible, team-based care,” said CNA CEO Anne Sutherland Boal.

Sutherland Boal’s pre-budget presentation included the following recommendations:

  1. Deliver federal health funding through a needs-based top-up to each province and territory, based on demographics and population health priorities
    A new formula would take into account the concerns raised by several provinces and territories regarding the demographic differences and unique requirements of their populations, especially those living in rural or remote areas.

  2. Improve access to equitable, national, publicly-funded home- and community-based care that includes telehealth, mental health and palliative care
    CNA applauds the government’s election commitment of $3 billion (over four years) for home care and mental health. This funding will encourage a shift toward client-centred, cost-effective care that supports patients and caregivers and promotes the health and well-being of Canadians. CNA will work with the federal government and all stakeholders to support policy development and help scale up promising new and existing models of community-based care that are efficient.

  3. Invest in early, secondary, and post-secondary education for Indigenous students and in professional development for health-care providers who serve Canada’s rural and remote communities
    CNA strongly supports the federal government’s decision to implement recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission — in particular, its commitment to make significant new investments in Indigenous education, improve essential infrastructure for Indigenous communities and create jobs for Indigenous people.

    CNA encourages the federal government to provide $100 million annually for four years to improve infrastructure in rural and remote communities. We propose this investment be directed at constructing educational facilities and satellite learning centres and expanding broadband services to promote distance education. Funds could also be used to enhance teaching capacity, skills and cultural competency. These investments will greatly improve educational opportunities for children and youth living in rural and remote areas and make the attainment of post-secondary education more feasible.

    CNA also encourages a four-year, annual federal investment of $25 million to improve infrastructure and learning opportunities for students and health-care professionals. Such an investment will lead to a more stable and skilled health-care workforce to serve rural and remote communities.

“Importantly, federal investments in health care through the Canada Health Transfer (CHT) — via a long-term funding arrangement, which would include bilateral agreements — can deliver better results for Canadians by including a robust accountability framework. Such a framework would use publicly accessible data to report on federal heath funding and the associated measurable health and social outcomes that we seek to achieve for all Canadians,” said Sutherland Boal.

CNA is the national professional voice representing nearly 139,000 registered nurses in Canada. CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.

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For more information, please contact:
Marc Bourgeois, Director of Public Affairs and Member Engagement
Canadian Nurses Association
Telephone: 613-237-2159, ext. 252, Cell: 613-864-1371
E-mail: mbourgeois@cna-aiic.ca