Fast forward to after the election

September 2015   Comments

In just over a month, the federal ballots will have been cast, the concession speeches delivered, and our newly elected parliamentarians will be moving into their offices.

With a fresh federal mandate, CNA will also be in a position to implement a major component in our new strategic plan: advocating for health and nursing policies that promote integrating primary health care (PHC) principles across the continuum of care. Canada’s RNs are well-acquainted with the PHC approach and how important its wider implementation is to ensure affordable and relevant health care in the years to come.

To help realize this goal, CNA’s plan is to further strengthen its partnerships with experts and organizations already invested in the PHC approach and to focus on getting governments, health-care organizations and other sectors to adopt more PHC policies.

Not only will CNA be overseeing such partnerships, we aim to harness expertise, knowledge and experience. One model we’re examining is to host a national knowledge and research clearinghouse for PHC-based policies and best practices. Such a resource would allow CNA and others to use collected evidence to expand how the health system can support every person to achieve their best health through access to quality services close to home.

Canada’s immunization program is an excellent example of how a coordinated approach — developed, adopted and implemented by a range of stakeholders — can make a meaningful difference in the health of our populations. This publicly funded program is why we have such a low rate of preventable disease, and it works because health-care providers, public health agencies, researchers, governments and others are united under a common objective — in this case, protecting the public from infectious diseases.

In carrying out our new strategic plan, CNA will be building on its existing partnership initiatives. Our participation in the Council of the Federation’s (provincial/territorial premiers) health-care innovation working group, which brings together different provider groups with government policy-makers so best practices are more widely adopted across the country, is one excellent example. Another is our partnership with the Canadian Association of Retired Persons to advance our common election platform: national standards for home health care, more caregiver support and improved community and home-based health promotion.

Other partnerships include those with YMCA-YWCA, which helped our National Expert Commission hear directly what Canadians want from our health-care system, and Canadian Tire’s Active at School program to increase physical activity for children, which aligned with CNA’s health in all policies initiative. Such innovative partnerships are what our country needs to expand primary health care and realize its full potential for population health.

After Canadians vote on Oct. 19, CNA will be ready to get right down to work with the newly elected government.

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