The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed deep cracks in Canada’s health care system.
The nursing shortage has reached a dangerous tipping point. Even before the pandemic, 83% of nurses reported that there were not enough health care staff to meet the needs of patients. Clinical levels of burnout are at an all-time high. The long-term care crisis continues, with deadly consequences.
For too long, elected officials have socially distanced themselves from these problems. It’s time to fix the cracks–vote to get Canada’s health care system back on track.
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In the face of crushing workloads, mandated overtime resulting in up to 24-hour shifts, the routine cancellation of vacations, and pervasive workplace violence, Canada’s nurses have reached a breaking point, with many leaving or on the verge of leaving the profession.
We call on all parties to commit targeted funding to fill nursing shortages, create a health workforce agency to address data and resource gaps in health workforce planning, and provide adequate protections from airborne viruses and workplace violence.
COVID-19 exposed Canada’s failure to care for our seniors. The CFNU has long called for the government to reverse the race to the bottom that led to the tragedy in long-term care facilities. Decades of underinvestment and privatization encouraged an approach that focused on the search for profit, not on providing optimal conditions for work and care.
Along with national standards, safe staffing and appropriate infection prevention and control measures, Canada must phase out for-profit care to provide safe, quality care for our seniors.
No one should be forced to choose between filling their prescriptions and feeding their family – especially during a global pandemic. It is long past due for Canada to implement a national, universal, public and single-payer pharmacare program.
Canada’s nurses call on all parties to commit to urgently implementing pharmacare beginning with essential medicines coverage in 2022.
As the Parliamentary Budget Officer recently pointed out, Canada Health Transfer (CHT) payments can’t keep up with rising health care spending.
Over the past year, premiers have called for the federal government to increase its share of health care funding to 35% of the total cost and to maintain spending at that level. The CFNU supports this call and urges the government to target this funding toward the public delivery of patient care.
In a pandemic that has decimated women’s labour market participation, the need for a national and universal early-learning and child care system has never been more essential.
Canada’s nurses call on all parties to implement such a system, ensuring it is accessible for all families, prioritizes public and not-for-profit spaces, is fair to workers, and provides equitable funding for Indigenous-led programs.