TORONTO, July 19, 2007 – Ontario nurses are so committed to protecting Canada’s universal health-care system that they’ll be inviting their provincial and federal politicians to see Sicko, a documentary which examines the human costs of the U.S. health-care system. The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is encouraging its members to plan movie nights with their MPs and MPPs during July and August while the politicians are in their constituencies for the summer. RNAO will be picking up the tab for nurses and politicians who see Sicko together.
“We want our politicians to have a relaxing summer, but not so relaxing that they forget how much Canadians need and value the Medicare system established by Tommy Douglas. Nurses’ knowledge, expertise and compassion are central to the system, so it makes sense for nurses to remind politicians of the dangers of taking any steps that move us toward an American-style health care system,” says Wendy Fucile, RNAO’s President-Elect.
Fucile says Sicko is essential viewing for decision-makers. “Our MPs and MPPs hold the future of Medicare in their hands. If they’ve ever doubted the merits of the Canadian system or wondered if we’d benefit from for-profit health care, this film will bring them back to reality very quickly,” she says.
RNAO’s initiative comes on the heels of an Alliance Atlantis promotion that offered all nurses in Canada free admission to Sicko from July 16 to 19.
“Hundreds of nurses went to see Sicko and it made them proud that they live in Canada – a country where health care is a human right and not a commodity. Now nurses want to make sure politicians share their passion for protecting universal health care. While the weight of evidence and research proves that our Medicare system offers a higher quality of care, and at a much lower cost to tax payers than the U.S. model, Sicko uses the stories of real patients to effectively drive the point home,” says Doris Grinspun, RNAO’s Executive Director.
Nurses across the province will be planning movie nights with politicians who represent their constituencies. While politicians will get into the movie for free, they’ll have to pay for their own popcorn.
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association for registered nurses 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.