In a submission sent to Finance Minister Bill Morneau, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is recommending the federal government implement six priority measures to support the domestic response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The recommendations are:
- A clear federal recommendation that Canadians uniformly implement social distancing, paired with supportive financial and economic measures;
- Federal leadership to ensure the acquisition and of the domestic supply of personal protective equipment for health care providers, along with the dissemination of clear guidelines on appropriate usage to ensure dissemination to community-based and primary care clinics;
- New federal emergency funding to boost capacity of our health care systems and social supports, and to ensure a consistent and coordinated response by provincial/territorial governments;
- Establishment of emergency pan-Canadian licensure for health care workers;
- Establishment of an emergency National Mental Health Support Service for health care workers;
- Implementation of a targeted tax credit to alleviate the negative financial impacts experienced by health care providers if they are quarantined following patient care.
The CMA recommendations align with The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) call to action to governments worldwide to ensure effective and well-resourced public health measures, targeted policies to support health care systems and workers as well as protecting incomes for vulnerable populations and small businesses.
“The CMA commends the federal government for its early action,” says CMA president Dr. Sandy Buchman. “Now is the time to ensure that appropriate leadership continues and that targeted investments are made to protect the health of Canadians.”
The CMA continues to work closely with all key stakeholders, including the federal government as well as health organizations, to maximize a coordinated response to this pandemic.