With several provinces and territories cutting health financing side
deals with the federal government, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) continues
to push for a national and strategic approach to improving our health care
“The CMA is urging Canada's federal, provincial and territorial
political leaders to focus on crafting a new national Health Accord to meet the
needs of our growing and aging population, and to address the disparities that
exist between provinces and territories,” said Dr. Granger Avery, the CMA president.
The foundation of this accord should be a measure the CMA calls a
"demographic top-up" that would provide $1.6 billion in federal investment
to support the innovation and transformation needed in provincial and
territorial health systems to address the health needs of our senior population.
The amount of this investment is based on Conference Board of Canada calculations detailing the
amount required for each province and territory to address the necessary
increase in health care spending associated with an aging population.
Tens of thousands of people have written letters to politicians and have
spoken out at roundtable meetings across the country. Many have also shared
their personal – sometimes tragic – stories of how they, or someone they care
for, are not getting the health care they need. They have said that it is
essential that Canada renews and strengthens our 50-year-old system, to one
that better meets the needs of seniors who are living longer, but with more
complex and chronic conditions.
“The strength of a national approach is that it elevates discussion to
improving health care in Canada, not just about the distracting debate on
funding transfers between the levels of government,” said Dr. Avery. “It helps
us focus upon the one overriding issue: What can we do to help Canadians get
the care they need when and where they need it?”