Alberta Health Services proposed a three per cent wage rollback for nurses last month during contract negotiations with the union that represents about 30,000 public-sector nurses. (Black Press news services)

Doctors, nurses, advocates call on governments to address health-care crisis

Associations representing Canada’s doctors, nurses and health organizations are calling on governments to work together to solve the health-care crisis that is affecting people across the country.

The Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Nurses Association and HealthCareCAN, an association representing health organizations and hospitals, has issued a list of steps governments should take to fix the country’s health-care system.

The “prescription for hope” list released Friday includes creating a pan-Canadian licensing model to allow doctors to work anywhere in the country, strengthening mental health and well-being supports for health-care workers, helping internationally trained health professionals get licensed to fill vacancies and introducing a national workforce planning strategy.

Canadian Medical Association president Alika Lafontaine says health-care systems across the country are facing similar challenges, and governments should collaborate to address these challenges.

Canadian Nurses Association president Sylvain Brousseau says nurse shortages and other workforce issues are having a severe impact on the health-care system and government should act urgently and introduce structural reforms.

The associations’ calls come ahead of a meeting of Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial health ministers in Vancouver next week.

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