Today’s Speech from the Throne represents a hopeful prescription for the health care system after 20 months of unprecedented pressures. The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is encouraged that the health and collective well-being of the people of Canada are key priorities for this 44th Parliament. Now more than ever, we need to take action to build a stronger, healthier future for the country and that includes repairing the foundation of the health system.
As part of Canada’s pandemic recovery, we must address the current health workforce crisis. From improving the data we collect on health human resource needs, to providing funding to expand access to care and reduce backlogs in surgeries and procedures, we believe the federal government can be a strong leader in creating a health care system that fully supports care providers and patients.
We are heartened by the government’s commitment to protect health workers, who have soldiered on throughout this pandemic to care for others and advocate for the health and wellness of the public at great personal risk and sacrifice. Simply put, without health workers, there is no health system, and they deserve our utmost appreciation, support and protection.
While we rebuild the health care system, net-zero aspirations and the health impacts of climate change must be central to future plans. Dismantling the structural barriers to access to health in Canada, including Reconciliation, are also foundational to our collective efforts.
We know extensive collaboration and consultation are needed on the best way forward. We stand ready to work with Parliament and our colleagues across the health care community to provide the expertise and front-line perspective to bring today’s throne speech to life.
Dr. Katharine Smart, CMA President