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​Important milestone for seniors in Canada

Ottawa, October 26, 2017 – Today marked a key milestone towards the creation of a pan-Canadian seniors plan that will improve access to health care for all. CMA President Dr. Laurent Marcoux presented 15 recommendations to the House of Commons' Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. The Committee is currently studying how Canada can better prepare for the diverse and growing seniors population of tomorrow, an issue that has been a priority for physicians and their patients for nearly a decade.

While Canadians are living longer, healthier lives than ever before, the pressures on the country's health care system continue to increase. The number of seniors that will need help in the next 30 years is expected to double.

The CMA's submission, Advancing Quality of Life and Quality of Care for Seniors,outlines comprehensive recommendations for how seniors can remain active, engaged citizens in our communities. The recommendations include:

  • Capital investment in residential care infrastructure, including retrofit and renovation, as well as explicit operating principles for home care funding that has been negotiated with the provinces and territories to recognize funding for caregivers and respite care;
  • Targeted funding to support the development of a pan-Canadian seniors strategy to address the needs of the aging population as well as a pharmaceutical strategy that addresses both comprehensive coverage of essential medicines and programs to encourage optimal prescribing and drug therapy;
  • Increased collaboration between governments in various departments as well as private insurers to develop a framework for the funding and delivery of accessible and sustainable home and long-term care services;
  • Support for ongoing research to identify best practices in the care of seniors, and monitoring of the impact of various interventions on health outcomes and costs;
  • Programs to promote physical activity, nutrition, injury prevention and mental health among older Canadians as well as meaningful employment opportunities for seniors who desire them.

The CMA believes that improving seniors care will help reduce hospital costs and wait times significantly across the country. More than 52,000 Canadians have lent their support to the CMA's efforts by signing on to www.demandaplan.ca, and have sent over 100,000 letters to their local Member of Parliament.