Fueled by new data confirming Canadians prioritize fixing the health workforce crisis, more than 40 national and provincial health organizations will be meeting in Ottawa this week to iron out solutions.
Amid depleted health human resources and unprecedented demand for patient care, finding short- and long-term solutions to this crisis is critical.
A recent Ipsos survey conducted on behalf of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) shows that 87% of respondents agree a long-term plan for the health workforce is needed to ensure Canadians can receive the right care at the right time, no matter where they live. The survey also shows that 76% of those surveyed believe Canada does not have enough health workers across all regions with 83% saying that a lack of cooperation and coordination between levels of government is a significant barrier to implementing a long-term health workforce plan.
The survey findings come as Canada’s health ministers have committed to supporting the country’s health workforce by scaling up physician mobility, providing more training opportunities, improving the availability and sharing of labour market data, and expediting credentials for internationally trained health professionals.
“We need a strong health workforce to provide the care that Canadians deserve, and we simply do not have that today,” says CMA president Dr. Kathleen Ross. “At a time where we are seeing renewed cooperation and focus among governments to fix our health system crisis, we have this unique opportunity to scale up solutions and help shape a national response to rebuild our health care workforce.”
The meetings will take place in Ottawa on Oct. 26-27 and include participants from organizations representing health care professions, policy makers, educators, regulators and patients.
The Ipsos/CMA online survey was conducted between Sept. 15–19, 2023, and included a nationwide sample of more than 3,100 Canadians aged 18 years and older. The poll is accurate to within + or - two percentage points, 19 times out of 20.