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Canadian Nurses Association welcomes Ontario’s commitment to improve access to home and community-based care

Ottawa, March 28, 2018 — Mike Villeneuve, CEO of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), and Kate Zimmerman, CNA’s Ontario board representative, welcome the proposed health-care investments in the 2018 pre-election Ontario budget:

“The new $650-million investment proposed for home care will improve access to community-based care for Ontarians and provide much-needed relief for caregivers across the province,” said Villeneuve. “Investments in home care will reduce the number of hospital beds occupied by patients who can’t be discharged due to the lack of accessible services, which is contributing to rising costs and reduced efficiency of our publicly funded health-care system. CNA will press all parties vying to form the next government to ensure investments in care lead to more high-quality care closer to home.”

“We were disappointed to see the budget did not announce significant investments for public education to reduce the harms of non-medical cannabis use,” said Zimmerman. “Nurses are highly trusted by the public and are often the first or only point of contact within the health-care system. We urge all parties to ensure that funds are allocated to support nurses to deliver public education in their key roles as trusted sources of health information.”

“All parties have a unique opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of Ontarians by educating the public and making sure nursing professionals are ready for the upcoming legalization of cannabis,” added Villeneuve.

“The budget also proposes a much-needed investment in mental health and addictions care,” said Zimmerman. “We welcome the government’s plan to provide person-centred and stigma-free services across Ontario. However, amid the worsening opioid crisis, we were disappointed to see that Ontario is not dedicating more resources to implement more harm reduction services such as supervised consumption and overdose prevention sites. Nurses are uniquely positioned to support and help patients with problematic substance use and need to be empowered to provide care.”

“The expansion of Ontario’s pharmacare program to seniors is an important step to ensure greater access to affordable medications that is based on need, not on the ability to pay. This budget sets the stage for an important election that will impact the future of health care in Ontario,” said Villeneuve.

Background:

CNA and Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association’s Ontario pre-budget submission [PDF, 213 KB].

CNA met with MPPs and officials from the Ontario Liberal Party, Ontario PC Party, Ontario NDP and Green Party of Ontario to discuss our recommendations on non-medical cannabis, the opioid crisis and indigenous health. In February, CNA sent the main parties its party platform questionnaire. The parties’ responses will inform Ontarians and nurses on their respective health-care plans and priorities. Responses will be shared with CNA’s members in Ontario and posted on cna-aiic.ca.

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The Canadian Nurses Association is the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing, 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
Lead, Communications
Canadian Nurses Association
Cell: 613-266-8230
E-mail: kmenard@cna-aiic.ca