Canada’s registered nurses and nurse practitioners prescribe accountability for federal dollars, better home care and support for caregivers in advance of new health accord and budget 2017
OTTAWA, November 22, 2016 — Nurses from every region of Canada gathered on Parliament Hill today to meet members of Parliament, senators and ministerial staff to demand increased accountability for federal health funding and better funding for home- and community-based care. Nurses also highlighted the need to implement policies and incentives to better support family caregivers who care for loved ones.
Including a robust accountability framework as part of the new health accord will show causal relationships between tax dollars and health outcomes. Annual provincial and territorial reporting to the federal minister of health, and ultimately to Canadians, will ensure that investments in health deliver tangible results, benefiting patients and taxpayers alike.
One of the most effective ways to invest health-care funds is through access to high-quality, publicly funded home care. This service is currently inconsistent across Canada despite increased demand for it in every region. The $3 billion federal home care commitment to the provinces and territories must be distributed based on needs and regional demographics.
This feedback on home care was received by a recent national consultation of stakeholders undertaken by the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), the Canadian Home Care Association (CHCA) and the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC). The group recently released a report — Better Home Care in Canada: A National Action Plan — that provides guidance and measures to improve home- and community-based care in Canada.
Currently, more than eight million Canadians perform care-giving duties. The cost to replace them with paid care providers would exceed $25 billion annually. Unfortunately, current policies mean Canadians struggle to combine paid employment with the need to provide care for a loved one. Nurses demanded a pan-Canadian caregiver strategy to make it easier for people to care for their loved ones at home.
Our recommendations for innovative and cost-effective care include:
- more transparency and accountability for federal health transfers
- better access to home- and community-based care
- a stronger economy through improved support for caregivers
Open letter to provincial and territorial ministers of health
CNA, CHCA and CFPC report: Better Home Care in Canada: A National Action Plan
“The Canadian Nurses Association will continue to work with nurses across Canada to reinforce the need for an accountability framework to underpin investments in home care. This will ensure that we get the best measurable outcomes for patients and their families across Canada.” — Barb Shellian, President of the Canadian Nurses Association
For more information, please contact:
Canadian Nurses Association
Tel.: 613-237-2159, ext. 543