December 16, 2021 — After almost two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada is on the brink of a 5th wave that, once again, poses serious risks to our country’s health system. For health workers, the pandemic has been unrelenting. They are burnt out, exhausted, and demoralized, contributing to a mass exodus from the health professions.
CNA is pleased to see that ensuring health-care workers are supported and recruited across the country was included in the mandate letter to the federal health minister.
“Canada can only finish the fight against COVID-19 if we have a well-functioning health system and health workforce. Critical staffing shortages were already an issue long before the pandemic began as our health-care system and those who work in it have been neglected for many years. Inadequate workforce planning, lack of timely data, and chronic underfunding have prevented us from planning, managing, and deploying our health workforce effectively,” said Tim Guest, president of CNA.
On behalf of Canada’s 448,000 nurses, CNA strongly supports the priorities highlighted in mandate letters to cabinet ministers. We are committed to working with the health minister and the federal government to continue the crucial work to support health-care workers.
“To help address the health human resources crisis, CNA is urging the federal government to demonstrate leadership by working with the provinces and territories to develop a new pan-Canadian health workforce action plan. This would include targeted funding for retention and recruitment in the immediate term, as well as establishing a national health workforce planning agency,” said Guest.
Along with prioritizing health-care workers, the ministerial mandate letters also included significant commitments in other areas important to nurses and the public, including long-term care, mental health, and virtual care.
CNA looks forward to collaborating with the federal government and parliamentarians to support the implementation of these priorities.
About 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, retired nurses, and nursing students across all 13 provinces and territories.
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