Why this federal election is crucial for nurses

Linda Silas | CFNU President

October 21 is federal election day in Canada, and it is a crucial moment for Canadians and so important for us as nurses.

Over the past months, I have been hearing the same things from members again and again. Nurses are facing overwhelming workloads, short-staffing, privatization and unacceptable violence. Across the country, nurses are facing threats of cutbacks to our health care that will only make things worse. Add to all this the stress of trying to care for our children or ageing relatives, and you get the picture.

As nurses you are doing the best you can, but it’s time to stop pretending our health care isn’t in desperate need of an upgrade. That’s why the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions has launched a national campaign, highlighting five issues we want to see tackled in the federal election.

We can’t continue with our current wasteful and insufficient prescription drug system. As we’ve been saying for decades, Canada needs universal pharmacare to ensure seamless coverage for all while saving us billions of dollars every year. This money could be reinvested in our system – in acute care, home care, long-term care, mental health and primary care.

We need national leadership and action to stop workplace violence that is rampant in health care and to fix short-staffing. Without proper health human resources, we know both patients and workers remain at risk. Let’s make October 21 the time to fix this.

A lack of appropriate care for seniors means more people are ending up in hospitals, adding to overcrowding and suffering. We need action to improve seniors’ care, so everyone can age with dignity, regardless of how much money they have.

Adding to many other issues is the major funding shortfall facing provinces. We need increased federal health care funding to at least keep pace with inflation and growing costs.

And, at a time when we need more nurses – not fewer – we need national action for child care options that are accessible and affordable.

On October 21, I encourage everyone to vote for a federal government that is committed to investing in care, not cuts.

Please take action now. Email your candidates and tell them you are voting for care.

In solidarity always,

Linda
CFNU President

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