TORONTO, August 26, 2010 - Registered nurses in Ontario are eager to work with Dr. Jeff Turnbull, the new president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) to strengthen our publicly-funded and not-for profit health-care system by improving access, and making it more patient-centred and cost-efficient.
David McNeil, president of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO), says nurses are pleased that during his inaugural address Turnbull explicitly endorsed the principles of the Canada Health Act and stated that he understands its importance to Canadians. McNeil adds that it is now up to Turnbull to ensure that CMA’s policies and values – not only his own – are aligned with the Canadian public.
In an Ipsos Reid poll commissioned by the CMA and released this week, 75 per cent of Canadians gave the overall quality of health-care services a grade of A or B, up from 74 per cent in 2009 and 73 per cent in 2008. “Turnbull was very accurate when he said that ‘public health care forms the bedrock of our system of Canadian values,’ ” says McNeil.
“Nurses are also encouraged that Turnbull, who provides clinical care to Ottawa’s homeless population, deeply understands the impact that social determinants such as poverty, housing and nutrition have on people’s health. We are ready to collaborate with Turnbull and other physicians to make equity and social justice in Canada a reality,” says Doris Grinspun, Executive Director of RNAO.
Grinspun states that by focusing on common principles and values, nurses and physicians can become a powerful force for positive system improvements. “Together we can fully utilize the knowledge, skills and competencies of all health professionals to optimize patient, organization and system outcomes,” says Grinspun, adding that Turnbull’s priority to move from a narrow focus on acute care to modern, progressive solutions in areas such as chronic care, long-term care and home-based care is shared by nurses. “These, as well as primary health care and national pharmacare, are areas we must strengthen as partners,” says Grinspun.
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.
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