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Canada's Nurses Putting Patients First This Election

OTTAWA, May 11, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Canada's Nurses are standing up for the country's health care system this federal election, as the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) and the eight provincial nurses unions it represents will register as third-party advertisers for the first time in the organization's history.

"With proposed cuts of $36 billion over the next ten years, we cannot wait any longer to take a stand and defend our country's health care system," said CFNU President Linda Silas. "The needs of health care services are increasing, especially as our population ages, yet budget cuts make it impossible to answer those needs."

The three areas most important to Canada's health care system are developing a safe seniors strategy, creating and implementing a national pharmacare policy, and protecting nurses and other health care workers with a safe staffing strategy.

"Canadians pay more for prescription drugs than nearly every other developed country, our seniors don't have access to the care they need, and nurses are working millions of overtime hours each year while assaults against health care workers rise," Silas said.

The CFNU hopes that as Canadians celebrate the success of nurses on National Nursing Week, they will push the discussion forward on treating frontline health care workers fairly.

"Enough with the cake-cutting and thank-yous," Silas said. "Actions speak louder than words, and we're using this week to demand federal leadership on these issues to strengthen our health care system and secure the safety of all Canadians moving forward."

The CFNU believes that any further cuts will jeopardize the future of our health care system.

"Our nurses are on the front line of Canada's health care facilities and witness daily the effects of the cuts we're already facing, to cut further would be a tragedy," Silas said. "Long wait times and hospital beds filled with patients waiting to be moved elsewhere is only the beginning. That's why we need to make health care a priority this election, before things really spiral out of control."

A full launch of CFNU's federal election strategy will take place at the CFNU biennial convention in Halifax June 1-5.

The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions represents close to 200,000 nurses and student nurses. Our members work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, community health care and our homes.

CONTACT: Anil Naidoo 613-986-5409 anil@nursesunions.caSource:Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions