November 8, 2022 (Vancouver, B.C.) – Nursing leaders from across the country brought concrete solutions to Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial health ministers today, to improve patient care, better support nurses and end the dire staffing shortages plaguing health care systems across the country.
“Every day, in every corner of this country, patient care is in jeopardy. Nurses are running ragged as they constantly work understaffed and overstretched. It’s no wonder so many nurses are looking for the exit door,” said Linda Silas, president of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU). “Retaining nurses must be every government’s top priority if we are going to bring our health care systems back from the brink.”
The CFNU presented nurses’ evidence-based solutions to the staffing crisis at a policy briefing for Canada’s health ministers, co-hosted by BC Health Minister Adrian Dix. At the heart of the frontline nurses’ plan are investments in retaining, returning and recruiting nurses, backed by firm timelines and with real accountability.
“We have to address what is pushing nurses out the door. Nurses need better support and safer workplaces, so patients can get the quality care they deserve,” Silas explained. “A pan-Canadian health human resources action plan, backed by sufficient long-term funding and real accountability, would mean governments could spread and scale proven strategies. Working together with urgency and purpose, we can save our cherished public health care system for generations to come.”
Sylvain Brousseau, president of the Canadian Nurses Association, added that governments must collaborate with nurses and health care advocates if we are going to effectively address the staffing crisis facing Canada’s health care systems.
“Today’s crisis reflects what nurses and health care workers have been saying for years: the health care system is not working the way it should be,” said Brousseau. “With a multifaceted strategy to improve working conditions and retain nurses, we can put our public health care system back on track.”