RNAO strongly endorses the final report of the Romanow Commission, Building on Values: The Future of Health Care in Canada. Commissioner Romanow began his work clarifying Canadians’ values and ended his work with recommendations based on the best available evidence. Indeed, the report’s recommendations are based in solid evidence, gleaned through extensive consultation, research and analysis over the past eighteen months. This is a report that reflects the overwhelming views and values of most Canadians, including Ontario nurses.
First, this is a report that clearly details the values and principles that underlie the Canadian health care system. We call upon politicians of all parties to immediately reconfirm their support for these values and principles. The report also lays to rest the ghosts of privatization and for-profit delivery, and offers a clear path for Canadians and their elected officials to get on with the real job of building Medicare’s second generation. Medicare is part of the tapestry of a moral and just society that has contributed to Canada’s social cohesion. The report is unwavering in its position that Medicare offers Canadians the best financial deal and is the best way for all of us to receive our health care.
The report moves Canada in all the correct directions towards comprehensive universality in health care, and does so in a very fiscally and politically cautious way. We expect the federal and provincial governments to adopt these initial steps, and decisively move to realize the immediate and long-term vision set by Commissioner Romanow towards achieving universal access to all essential health care services.
RNs across Canada have been key participants in building and preserving our universally accessible health-care system. We fought hard for the Canada Health Act. We have also been willing participants in the work of the Romanow Commission over the past eighteen months; realizing that today’s highly changed – and highly charged – climate makes this a critical time for a knowledgeable and passionate defense of the letter and the spirit of the Canada Health Act.
We commend the Commissioner for protecting these principles in his report and for extending them to other necessary health-care services.