Toronto, Oct. 17, 2016 — As Canada's health ministers meet in Toronto to discuss the key issues affecting the health of Canadians, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has released its plan for a new Health Accord to give our nation's health care system a much-needed reboot.
"Canada's doctors and the patients we serve have watched and read with growing concern the media reports describing how our political leaders are establishing their opening positions for negotiating a new Health Accord," said Dr. Granger Avery, CMA President. "Renewing our Canadian health care system requires a modern, collaborative approach that builds on existing silos of excellence."
The CMA believes that a new accord is urgently needed so that Canada's publicly funded health care system — built on and with the health programs funded by each of the 13 provinces and territories — can better meet Canadians' health needs while providing greater value for money and remaining sustainable.
"Canadians have said clearly that they're ready for Canadian health care 2.0," asserted Dr. Avery. "Our nation is about to celebrate its 150th birthday so what better time to build a strong health care system capable of meeting new and evolving challenges?"
In releasing "Improving the health of all Canadians: A vision for the future", the CMA has effectively provided a platform of six clear and actionable recommendations that should be part of the 2017 federal/provincial/territorial health accord:
- targeted extra funding as a "top-up" to the Canada Health Transfer for provinces and territories with more seniors;
- coverage for highly expensive medication so that Canadians do not experience undue financial hardship if they are sick;
- more financial support for family caregivers by making tax credits refundable;
- a national strategy for palliative and end-of-life care;
- a coordinated home care plan so that healthy seniors can continue to live in their homes and get the support they need; and
- key infrastructure investments to improve and provide more long-term care for Canadians who need it.
"As Canadians are living longer, healthier lives, they're doing so with more complex and chronic conditions," said Dr. Avery. "This is the area of our system that needs urgent attention because treating these issues properly requires a much more integrated, collaborative and efficient system than the one we have now."