Canada’s health system is in ‘crisis’. Are employers and leaders up to the task? – National |

With one in two nurses considering leaving their jobs, Canada’s health care system is currently in crisis, says Linda Silas, president of the Canadian Federation of Nurses.

“It’s almost like healthcare employers don’t care or don’t know what to do,” he said during The Roy Green Show. “We are very concerned as health workers. What we are talking about now is the survival of our system.”

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Nationwide, five million Canadians do not have a primary health care provider, a key problem in the country, according to Silas.

“We need primary health care. That’s key because we as individuals have to take care of ourselves to make sure we don’t go to the hospital,” she said.

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Canada’s Prime Ministers will meet in Victoria, BC at the Fairmont Empress on July 11-12 to discuss the health care situation as part of one of the Federation Council’s twice-yearly meetings. The Council is made up of the provincial and territorial premiers.

“The problems Canadians experienced in accessing health care services during the pandemic have intensified strains on our health systems that will continue unless the federal government significantly increases its share of health care costs,” said the BC Premier John Horgan in a July 7 statement. Press release announcing the meeting.

“Canadians must have confidence that their health care systems will provide the services they need. There can be no further delay in having this vital conversation with the federal government.”

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Steady rise in sick days among BC healthcare workers

Steady rise in sick days among BC healthcare workers: June 30, 2022

For Silas, who will attend the Victoria meeting, he plans to stress that one province or territory will not be able to fix the system on its own.

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“We are in a crisis right now. We will tell you that we are with you, but we will also tell you that there will not be a single province or territory that can fix this mess on its own,” he said.

“They hear it from more than nurses, more than doctors. They hear it every time they walk down the street. They know that their neighbor did not have hip surgery or that his cancer treatment is delayed. That’s how you change your political mind, when everyone is on the same page.”

“We really have to work together and get the federal government to the table. It’s silly that we still haven’t had a discussion with the federal government about all of this,” Silas added.

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Prime ministers at the meeting should prioritize the recruitment and retention of health professionals in the country, and not just in the short term, according to Dr. Atul Kapur, a spokesman for the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians.

“We’ve been sounding the alarm about the shortage of doctors and nurses for quite some time,” he said in an interview with the Canadian Press.

Data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information shows that admitted patients across Canada waited 38.3 hours in emergency rooms in 2019-2020, up from 29.3 hours five years earlier. The total number of views soared to nearly 1.6 million during that time, up from just over 1.1 million.

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The figures apply to 90 percent of patients, and Kapur said 10 percent waited even longer.

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Darrell Bricker, president and CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs, says health care remains the number one issue in Canada.

“What people are really saying when they put health care at the cusp of the problems facing the country is that they’re really not sure about the future of the system,” Bricker told The Roy Green Show.

“They feel like the system is under pressure right now.”

— With Canadian Press archives

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