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Canadians flocking to Demand a Plan to call for action on seniors care

​The Canadian Medical Association's (CMA's) Demand a Plan campaign has surpassed 40,000 supporters united in the call for action to improve care for our nation's seniors.

"Demand a Plan" became a mantra during last year's federal election, as supporters urged the federal parties to commit to developing a national seniors strategy if elected. Since the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was elected last October, membership in the grassroots movement has swelled by more than 25,000, with no signs of abating as the CMA presses for a new national Health Accord.

"Demand a Plan has tapped in to a real concern among Canadians that our health care system is simply not functioning as it should to ensure our growing and aging population can get access to care, when and where it is needed," said Dr. Granger Avery, the CMA President.

In the last few months, the Demand a Plan website has expanded to feature the real stories and experiences of supporters as they navigate the health care system to get care for themselves or their loved ones.

"The stories and experiences are the real power behind the Demand a Plan movement," said Dr. Avery. "Behind every one of our 40,000 supporters is someone – or someone's loved one – who is not getting the high-quality seniors care he or she deserves."

"Living" the issues

In recent weeks the CMA has also asked supporters for their opinions on key aspects of the health care system and specifically, where action is needed. The latest survey on areas requiring attention in the next Health Accord for Canada yielded over 11,000 responses. Key highlights include:

  • Two-thirds (68%) of respondents believe that the federal government should provide more funds to provinces and territories who have higher proportions of seniors;
  • Nearly half (45%) believe that correcting the fact that Canada is the only country with universal health care and not universal pharmaceutical coverage is a clear priority;
  • 62% believe governments should be accountable for improving health care and should report on progress;
  • Nearly half (49%) of respondents said they are now aware that the federal government, provinces and territories are negotiating a new Health Accord, a critical tool to improving the health care system.

"The perspective of the over 11,000 Demand a Plan supporters who took the time to respond to this survey is extremely important because they really are living these issues every day," said Dr. Avery. "We are taking this input to our political leaders and will continue to press for a new national Health Accord for Canada."

Forward any comments about this article to: cmanews@cma.ca.