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Premiers show leadership by addressing Canada’s aging population, CMA says

St. John’s, NL. (July 17, 2015) — Canada’s premiers have taken a major step forward in addressing the challenges of its aging population by making it a priority issue on their agenda, Dr. Chris Simpson, president of the

Canadian Medical Association (CMA), said today.

“Canada has been heading into a perfect demographic storm for several years by not addressing issues connected with the aging of the baby boomer generation,” Dr. Simpson said as the 13 provincial and territorial premiers wrapped up the annual summer meeting of the Council of the Federation.

“Our aging population and the necessary updating of our health care system have been off the national political agenda as we head into a federal election campaign. Healthy aging should be a ballot issue.”

The aging population was listed as the first of 16 issues reported by Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Paul Davis at a closing news conference. The premiers are seeking a bump in the Canada Health Transfer from Ottawa to 25 per cent of provincial/territorial health spending from just over 22 per cent. The extra federal funds are needed to support innovation and transformation of the health care system to support care for the aging population.

The CMA also supports the premiers’ ongoing work through their Health Care Innovation Working Group for bulk purchasing agreements, primary health care and pharmacare.

“The premiers have used a few days in St. John’s to show an overdue leadership and national vision of a caring and compassionate Canada that all Canadians deserve,” Dr. Simpson said. “They have validated the importance of the Council of the Federation to the daily lives of ordinary Canadians.”

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.