OPINION: Federal commitment needed to address health-care shortages and burnout

Whoever becomes Canada’s next prime minister after Sept. 20 faces a long road ahead when it comes to the country’s ailing health system. For 18 months, healthcare workers — the backbone of Canada’s healthcare system — have been sacrificing their own personal health and safety and that of their families to care for the country’s most vulnerable.

At the beginning of the pandemic, they were called heroes or guardian angels. These days, they are being shouted at, and even spat on. And yet, they carry on caring for their patients and keeping our hospitals running.

We are puzzled that during this federal election, staff shortages and the increasing burnout of healthcare workers have not garnered the attention or commitments needed, even in the face of rising case counts during this fourth wave.

So today, the Canadian Nurses Association and the Canadian Medical Association are calling on all political parties to immediately commit to supporting healthcare workers and addressing the issues of staff shortages and burnout.

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