Canadian Medical Association

Federal budget 2024 is looming, and as we await news of the government’s investment priorities, the health system remains under unprecedented strain. 
Consistent, focused investment to stabilize and rebuild our health systems will be needed over the next several years. A comprehensive plan with clear accountabilities will lead to meaningful transformation.

We are calling on all levels of government to ensure investments into the health system are optimized to address remaining gaps to support the health and well-being of Canadians. A collaborative, constructive and focused effort on the part of the federal, provincial and territorial governments is needed to create meaningful change in how health care is planned for and delivered from coast to coast to coast. It’s time to do the work in a transparent and accountable way so that Canadians can receive health care when and where they need it. 

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is pleased that all provinces and territories have now signed bilateral health agreements with the federal government, complete with accountability measures and health data modernization metrics. We welcome the efforts of some jurisdictions to increase mobility of health workers, reduce administrative burden and create team-based care models. 

Unfortunately, the same critical challenges remain: 

  • 6 million+ Canadians without a family physician or other primary care provider;
  • lengthy wait times for surgeries, and diagnostic and life-saving treatments; and
  • emergency departments across the country routinely operating well beyond capacity and hospitals well above full occupancy levels.

These are challenges in every province and territory in Canada. Years of neglect have led us to where we are today, and solutions cannot be implemented overnight. Our challenges will not be resolved in silos. Collaboration is needed. 

The solutions to Canada’s health crisis are many: investing in team-based care, implementing pan-Canadian licensure for physicians, reducing administrative burden, scaling virtual care, expediting training and licensing for international medical graduates and creating a national health workforce strategy. The CMA and other medical organizations continue to point to meaningful solutions to our current crisis and are here to help.

We know what needs to be done. 

We need action. We need it now. 

Dr. Kathleen Ross
CMA President

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