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CNA welcomes new investments dedicated to long-term care in the Fall Economic Statement

November 30, 2020 — The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) welcomes the federal government’s Supporting Canadians and Fighting COVID-19: Fall Economic Statement 2020, which commits much needed investments in the Canadian health system, particularly to shore up services for vulnerable populations during COVID‑19.

“Canada has witnessed the staggering effects COVID‑19 has had on our health system, particularly in long-term care settings across our country. CNA has advocated consistently for federal measures to support the long-term care sector and dignified aging in Canada. We are pleased to see the federal government commit $1 billion for a safe long-term care fund,” said CNA’s president, Tim Guest.

The Fall Economic Statement reiterates the government’s commitment to creating national standards for long-term care. CNA welcomes this confirmation of a commitment to developing these standards. CNA is ready to work with the federal government to inform this important work.

“We are glad to see the government’s focus remains in fighting the pandemic,” said CNA’s chief executive officer, Michael Villeneuve. “The additional $1.5 billion to support the availability of personal protective equipment and the $565.4 million investment to ensure sufficient testing will be critical to protect people living in Canada against future outbreaks.”

CNA also supports the federal government’s additional investment of $631.6 million for the ongoing public health response to COVID‑19 in Indigenous communities.

“Today’s announcements, however, fell short in providing mental health supports targeted at health-care workers. CNA recently conducted a survey that indicated a very serious decline in overall mental health of nurses. In the beginning of the pandemic, 80 per cent of nurses indicated that their mental health was good or excellent, whereas only 47 per cent are reporting that at present. Investments in no-cost mental health support tailored for health-care workers are critical,” said Guest.

CNA believes a critical investment that still needs to be made is around increasing federal health transfers to address the cost of aging and enhance the ability of provinces and territories to invest in long-term care, palliative care, and community and home care. CNA urges that the federal, provincial and territorial governments work together to provide better care for older adults.

Furthermore, while CNA was pleased with the commitment in the speech from the throne to expand capacity to deliver virtual health care, we were hoping the federal government would lay out its plan and funding for this key priority for Canada’s health sector. CNA recommends that, through Budget 2021, the federal government invests in accelerating the deployment and expansion of virtual care across Canada.

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About the Canadian Nurses Association
The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) is the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing. We represent registered nurses, nurse practitioners, licensed and registered practical nurses, registered psychiatric nurses and retired nurses across all 13 provinces and territories.

For more information, please contact:

Eve Johnston
Media and Communications Coordinator
Canadian Nurses Association
Cell: 613-282-7859
Email: ejohnston@cna-aiic.ca