TORONTO, Aug. 22, 2006 – Ontario nurses are dismayed that members of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) have confirmed the choice of B.C. surgeon Brian Day as their national president.
By voting for Dr. Day, an outspoken advocate for two-tier medicine, doctors across Canada have undermined a central principle of our health-care system - namely that it exists for everyone, says Mary Ferguson-Paré, president of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO).
Ferguson-Paré says the decision to endorse Dr. Day as the national representative for this country’s 62,000 doctors means members of the CMA are essentially endorsing a parallel, for-profit health-care system and may leave many Canadians wondering if doctors have their interests in mind. “I believe there are many ways we can work together to improve our Medicare system for all Canadians. This isn’t one of them,” says Ferguson-Paré.
“The views of Brian Day are contrary to those of the general public. Dr. Day’s election means Ontario nurses will redouble their efforts to stand up for Canada’s publicly funded health-care system,” says Ferguson-Paré.
“We are proud to work within a system that believes access to medical care is a universal human right. We, along with doctors and other health-care providers, have been at the forefront of innovative changes that are reducing wait times for surgeries and improving access to health-care services across the country. Our innovations are geared to serving all Canadians, not simply those who can afford it,” says Doris Grinspun, RNAO executive director.
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses wherever they practise in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.