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Canada’s Nurses Stand Up For Medicare
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Ottawa, October 2, 2008 – Nurses for Medicare was launched today by Canada’s nurses to protect and strengthen medicare. With less than two weeks to go in the federal election, Nurses for Medicare is calling on the country’s 300,000-plus nurses to speak out in support of the publicly funded health-care system.

“We share Canadians’ frustrations with access to health care, and we are committed to working with government and with other health-care professionals toward implementing proven solutions within a publicly funded health system,” said Kaaren Neufeld, president of the Canadian Nurses Association. “We are, however, unequivocally against increased privatization because it will put health care out of the reach of those who need it most and will result in unequal access to essential health services.”

According to leading organizations, private health-care delivery does not reduce wait times. A study of five Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development nations found that public-sector wait times are longer in Britain and New Zealand, where both privately financed systems and publicly funded systems are in place, than in countries offering only publicly funded services, such as Canada and the Netherlands.*

“Nurses need to put their support for medicare on record to counter voices calling for a greater private role in health care. For-profit private health care is neither efficient nor ethical,” said Linda Silas, president of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, one of the founding member organizations of Nurses for Medicare.

In an open letter to all political leaders, Nurses for Medicare called on federal, provincial and territorial governments to work together for a moratorium on for-profit expansion of the health system; expansion of publicly funded, not-for-profit care (for example, to pharmacare and home care); and the enforcement of the Canada Health Act.

Nurses for Medicare is committed to health care that is based on need and not on ability to pay. Nurses for Medicare believes that solutions to access and sustainability challenges lie within reforms to the current, publicly funded system, such as interprofessional care, health promotion and strategic investments in technology.

For more information about Nurses for Medicare, visit www.nursesformedicare.ca
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*Tuohy C.H., Flood C.M., & Stabile M. (2004). How does private finance affect public health care systems? Marshaling the evidence from OECD nations. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 29(3),359-96.

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For more information:

Tina Grznar
Canadian Nurses Association
Tel: 613.237.2159 ext. 283
Cell: 613.266.0306

Deanna MacArthur
Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions
Cell: 613.889.5213

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Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions

The Canadian Nurses Association and the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions are founding members of Nurses for Medicare.


Canadian Nurses Association