April 4, 2016 (Ottawa) – Today CFNU president Linda Silas met with Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott in Ottawa. Silas and Philpott discussed Canada's nurses’ ongoing work towards the next Health and Social Accord.
“This was a productive meeting and I feel confident that this face-to-face with Minister Philpott signals a new era of governments and health care leaders working collaboratively to strengthen our public health care system into the future,” said Silas.
This meeting was scheduled to come just a few weeks after the 2016 Federal Budget was released, which included details reaffirming the election promise to engage with the provincial and territorial governments to renegotiate a new Health Accord.
The CFNU used this meeting with the minister to present recommendations to expand on this Health Accord to include a Social Accord, identifying that long-standing talk about the social determinants of health has not led to progress. In 2016 it is time to recognize that all government policies must be viewed through a health equity lens and focused efforts on Health in All Policies (HiAP). Canada’s nurses are also calling on all levels of government to implement coordinated health human resources (HHR) planning and Indigenous health strategies.
“In order to truly improve our Canadian health care system we must recognize that there are health inequalities that exist in Canada,” said Silas. “Every day people are forced to choose between feeding their families and filling their prescriptions. It is time once and for all to recognize the social determinants of health as federal, provincial and territorial governments move towards Accord negotiations.”
Canada’s nurses look forward to further positive meetings and follow up discussions with the Health Minister’s team in the months ahead.