Open letter to the Prime Minister to boost the Canada Health Transfer to Manitoba

December 10th, 2020

RE: Long-term boost to Canada Health Transfer to Manitoba

Dear Prime Minister,

On behalf of the nurses of Manitoba, we urge the federal government to increase health transfers to Manitoba. We fully support the Premiers and the Council of Federations’ call for a sustainable and long-term boost to the Canada Health Transfer.

COVID-19 has highlighted the fragility of our healthcare systems. There is a critical need to provide adequate health services to Canadians and to build future health system capacity to be able to effectively respond to a crisis such as this one. For years, nurses have called on the federal government to increase its share of health funding to allow provincial governments to deliver adequate healthcare services to Canadians. Now is the time for action. 

Healthcare is the public service most cherished by Canadian citizens. The federal government must ensure that health transfers reflect the healthcare needs of the unique populations in each province and territory. Nursing provides the foundation of that health system.

Earlier this year, the Association of Regulated Nurses of Manitoba (ARNM) joined the global Nursing Now movement, aimed at improving health by raising the profile and status of nursing and midwifery. As 2020 comes to an end, nursing and the health system are in a state of crisis. In addition to increasing the Canada Health Transfer, ARNM strongly recommends that the federal government reinstate the Chief Nurse Officer (CNO) position in Canada. This position should work with provinces and territories to ensure similar nursing leadership roles across Canada. 

There must be leadership in nursing that addresses the significant shortages in health human resources and bridges the gaps between healthcare needs and services. The current fragmented approach to nursing policy has weakened our national capacity to appropriately respond to COVID-19 and eroded our ability to build a resilient and crisis-proof health system. 

Our members are very appreciative of the federal government's support to nurses across Canada and in Manitoba. We look forward to a strong partnership between the federal government and the provinces to address critical issues of funding and capacity in our health systems. 

Sincerely,

 
     
Jennifer Dunsford RN MN
President
  Dr. Cheryl Cusack RN PhD 
Executive Director

       

CC:   
The Honourable Brian Pallister, Premier of Manitoba
Dr. Brent Roussin, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer
Lanette Siragusa, Provincial Lead, Health System Integration, Quality / Chief Nursing Officer