November 1, 2022 — Canada’s health workforce crisis, stemming from nursing shortages, is having detrimental consequences to the health-care system. Nurses are exhausted, depleted, and leaving their jobs; patients are facing longer and longer wait times; and an alarming number of emergency departments have been closing their doors due to under-staffing.
Solving this crisis requires a pan-Canadian approach. That is why the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) applauds the federal government for taking another step in the right direction with today’s announcement of the creation of the Coalition for Action for Health Workers.
“It is with great enthusiasm that we welcome the creation of this coalition, and we are pleased to see that the federal government continues to listen to the concerns of nurses and other health-care workers,” said Sylvain Brousseau, president of CNA. “To ensure the sustainability of the health-care system, Canada needs to strengthen and invest in its health workforce. As a member of the new coalition, CNA will propose innovative solutions to help inform key decisions and actions by governments to address Canada’s health workforce crisis.”
The members of the Coalition for Action for Health Workers include representatives from nurses, doctors, personal support workers, colleges and universities, patients, and equity-seeking communities. The coalition met today for the first time and will focus its work on helping to advise and support national efforts to drive concrete pan-Canadian action to respond to the crisis while working with provinces, territories and other stakeholders.
CNA is pleased that the initial focus of the coalition’s work will be on key priorities identified by nurses such as retention, recruitment, and health workforce planning.
“One area of particular importance that we hope to see discussion and action on is scaling up models of care that maximize scopes of practice to ensure that the health-care system makes the best use of nursing expertise,” said Brousseau. “This will help with addressing timely access to health care.”
The health workforce crisis is a national emergency, and the problem is occurring in all provinces and territories. Pan-Canadian coordination is urgently needed, and CNA believes that the coalition can play a key role in collaborating with other partners to ensure the sustainability of Canada’s health-care system into the future.
About the Canadian Nurses Association
CNA is the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing. Our mission is to advance the nursing profession to improve health outcomes in Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system. CNA is the only national association that speaks for all types of nurses across all 13 provinces and territories. We represent nurses that are unionized and non-unionized, retired nurses, nursing students, and all categories of nurses (registered nurses, nurse practitioners, licensed and registered practical nurses, and registered psychiatric nurses).
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