Earlier today, February 18, 2014, the B.C. Government revealed its 2014 Budget along with Service Plans for each Ministry. ARNBC has had some time to reflect on the budget, and hope that registered nurses and nurse practitioners will take an interest in reading the documentation and considering how this budget will impact their practice and Nursing in B.C.
Government has identified a 2.3% increase ($385 million) in the health budget for 2014. While this might seem substantial at first glance, ARNBC is concerned that this modest increase in funding will not adequately cover the needs of our growing healthcare system. Health authorities are already struggling to provide patient-centred care within limited budgets. Nurses are growing alarmed as services and programs that support patients, families, and communities are reduced or eliminated across the province. We are committed to working with nurses and government to raise and address these challenges. We also recognize that changes in the budgets of other Ministries and program areas, which are unrelated to health, may have significant impact on the social determinants of health. ARNBC believes that adequate health care funding is absolutely essential to the future of our publicly funded healthcare system and the welfare of all British Columbians.
The Ministry of Health Service Plan 2014/15 – 2015/16 was released today in conjunction with the budget. We were discouraged to see that the expertise, skills and knowledge of nurses appears to have been overlooked in this important strategic document. Nurses and nurse practitioners are the backbone of the healthcare system and ARNBC will work with government to ensure the Nursing voice is heard and reflected in the future plans of the Ministry.
We encourage all registered nurses and nurse practitioners to review the Budget documents and share your thoughts and ideas on the impact they will have on your practice and patients.
Link to Budget 2014: http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2014/default.htm
Link to the Ministry of Health Service Plan 2014/15 – 2015/16: http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2014/sp/pdf/ministry/hlth.pdf
ABOUT JULIE FRASER, RN, MN, ARNBC PRESIDENT
Julie Fraser is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in the area of Home Care. She has been a registered nurse for more than 15 years and has practiced in a number of different settings from residential care to acute medical and surgical care units, before focusing on community nursing, working in both clinical and educator roles.