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Canadian Nurses Association supports Budget 2019’s positive investments towards the health and well-being of people in Canada

Ottawa, March 20, 2019 — Claire Betker, president of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), issued the following statement on the tabling of Budget 2019.

“CNA supports the federal government’s commitments to lay the foundation of a national pharmacare program and improve broadband connectivity in rural and remote communities. We also support the government’s strategies to prevent and mitigate the health effects of climate change, create a national dementia strategy, increase measures to address the persistent opioid crisis and improve broadband connectivity in rural and remote communities.

“CNA has long advocated for a national pharmacare program, including a single, pan-Canadian list of prescription drugs that would be covered — known as a drug formulary — to eliminate inequities. We were pleased to see that this was included in the budget. We also proposed the creation of a federally led pan-Canadian drug strategy for rare diseases; the budget sets aside $1 billion over two years for such a strategy. Finally, Budget 2019 announced $35 million over four years to establish a Canadian drug agency transition office.

“CNA advocated for measures that enhance access to sustainable health service innovations to better serve rural, remote, First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities across Canada. We support the proposed $1.7 billion in new targeted initiatives to establish improved high-speed internet for these communities. This will provide more opportunities for people to connect and access nursing care. We also support the government’s proposed investment of $151.23 million over five years (and $9.28 million per year ongoing) to improve management of emergencies in these communities, including health services. This was a recommendation CNA made to the government.

“CNA supports the proposed $50 million over five years for the implementation of Canada’s first national dementia strategy as well as additional funding of $30.5 million over five years, with $1 million in ongoing funding, for measures to address the gaps in harm reduction and treatment. Treatment measures include protecting people with problematic opioid use from the risks of overdose and death and supporting better access to overdose response training.

“While CNA was pleased with many of the budgetary decisions, we were disappointed that there is no dedicated funding for supporting caregivers and the people in Canada who require palliative care. Here the federal government missed an opportunity to address an important federal, provincial and territorial priority. We will continue our advocacy on this issue because it matters to people and families across Canada.

“Recognizing that this budget will be the last tabled prior to the next federal election, CNA looks forward to the government’s swift movement and implementation of their promises.”

Background:
The government of Canada’s 2019 federal budget

CNA’s 2019 Pre-Budget Consultation: Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance [PDF, 172.9 KB]

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The Canadian Nurses Association is the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing, representing 140,000 registered nurses and nurse practitioners 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.

For more information, please contact:

Eve Johnston
Media and Communications Coordinator
Canadian Nurses Association
Tel: 613-237-2159, ext. 114
Cell: 613-237-3520
Email: ejohnston@cna-aiic.ca