Registered Nurses Celebrate National Medicare Week
November 10, 2006

Edmonton - Several key national health associations have declared November 13-18, 2006 as National Medicare Week. The College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) is celebrating National Medicare Week because registered nurses are proud to work in a health system where all people have access to health care regardless of ability to pay. 

“The excellence of Canada’s health system is recognized internationally and registered nurses are proud of the vital contribution they make within it,” says Sheila A. McKay, CARNA president. “We believe that Alberta should continue to show leadership in innovation within the publicly-funded health system and focus on strengthening the public system. Attempts to introduce a parallel private health system which benefit a minority will divert attention from measures which can improve the system for the benefit of all.”  

According to McKay, examples of Alberta’s leadership in health care innovation are the implementation of electronic health records, the introduction of primary care networks, the provincial 24/7 telephone Health Links program, and the Hip and Joint Replacement Project.

“We need to focus on known solutions to some of the problems in the public system,” says Mary-Anne Robinson, CARNA executive director. “Investing in the education of more health professionals, developing a long-term health human resource plan, and empowering registered nurses and other health professionals to use the full extent of their knowledge and skill can improve patient care and access. Promoting health, which has always been an important aspect of the registered nurse’s role, should become a priority rather than an afterthought in our approach to health care.”  

CARNA is the professional association and regulatory college for Alberta’s more than 28,000 registered nurses, the largest health profession in the province. Its members include registered nurses and nurse practitioners working in direct care, nursing management, education and research. CARNA sets nursing practice standards and ensures Albertans receive safe, competent and ethical nursing services.

- 30 -