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Canadian Nurses Association statement on federal, provincial and territorial ministers renewed discussions to reach bilateral health agreements

Ottawa, December 22, 2016 — Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) president Barb Shellian issued a statement following the new bilateral health agreement between the federal government and New Brunswick, and recent reports that several other provinces and territories are similarly seeking bilateral agreements on health with the federal government:

“The Canadian Nurses Association welcomes the new bilateral agreement signed on December 22 between the federal government and New Brunswick, and renewed discussions with other provinces and territories to reach agreements on investments into urgently needed home care and mental health services.

“We thank the government of New Brunswick’s Finance Minister Cathy Rogers and Health Minister Victor Boudreau, for their leadership and open, transparent and collaborative approach to negotiating a new agreement with federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Health Minister Jane Philpott. We are pleased to see the new bilateral agreement includes $125.1 million over the next 10 years for home care. In addition, we were very pleased to see that the new agreement included CNA’s call for accountability and reporting.

“We believe other provincial and territorial governments must follow suit to reach similar bilateral agreements to deliver real health-care improvement results for people living in their respective jurisdictions.

“CNA is steadfast in our support for Minister Philpott’s call for accountability for federal health dollars transferred to the provinces and territories to improve home care and mental health services. A robust accountability framework, which includes annual reporting to the federal government, is critical to ensure funds are effectively invested to transform health systems and provide better outcomes for patients and taxpayers.

“As noted in my letter on October 6 to provincial and territorial health ministers, registered nurses and nurse practitioners will continue to reinforce the need for an accountability framework to underpin the health accord and/or any bilateral agreements that are signed. As our second recommendation to the House of Commons finance committee [PDF, 297.3 KB] noted, this is an important mechanism to help ensure universal, equitable access to high-quality publicly funded home- and community-based care is achieved.

“As a national organization, we encouraged and are pleased to see constructive bilateral discussions between all levels of government.”

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The Canadian Nurses Association is the national professional voice representing over 139,000 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:
Kevin Ménard
Communications Advisor
Canadian Nurses Association
Cell: 613-266-8230
E-mail: kmenard@cna-aiic.ca