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Canada’s doctors ready to roll up sleeves with a federal government eager to show leadership in health care

Ottawa, Nov. 4, 2015 — The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is eager to work with the newly sworn-in government for better health care for all Canadians.

“Prime Minister Trudeau has rounded up an impressive roster of individuals to help lead his team,” says CMA President Dr. Cindy Forbes. “The CMA welcomes collaboration with this government to improve health care for all Canadians.”

Dr. Forbes is especially keen to establish a working relationship with the new federal Health Minister and CMA member Dr. Jane Philpott as she gets settled into Parliament.

“Given Dr. Philpott’s background, I have no doubt that she will play an influential role as a health leader throughout her term as minister,” says Dr. Forbes.

The CMA expects the Trudeau government to keep its promise to establish a better relationship with the provinces to ensure the delivery of the best care to Canadians. As poll after poll has shown, health is of major importance to the public and Canadians want strong federal leadership.

The aging population and their complexity of needs continues to have serious implications on the way physicians practise and how patients receive care. That is why a national strategy remains a top-of-list priority for the CMA. The demographic shift will affect every region in Canada and have a major impact on health care services.

“During the election campaign, we were pleased that the Liberal government highlighted the ‘foundational elements’ of a seniors care platform and we hope they realize this vision going forward,” says Dr. Forbes.

Trudeau pledged to keep a focus on issues like wait times, the availability of home care and community-based services, and the affordability of prescription drugs.

Last February, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada banning assisted dying. The Court suspended this decision for 12 months to allow Parliament and provincial legislatures the opportunity to enact legislation. Now that deadline is rapidly approaching.

“End-of-life care was not on the federal radar during the election campaign,” says Dr. Forbes. “This is an extremely sensitive and complex issue and there remains a lot of work to be done. The CMA will look for consultation from the government to make sure Ottawa properly implements a consistent, national approach that takes into consideration the needs of both the patient and care provider.”

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, the CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing more than 80,000 of Canada’s physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 60 national medical organizations. CMA’s mission is helping physicians care for patients. The CMA will be the leader in engaging and serving physicians and be the national voice for the highest standards for health and health care.