Canadian Medical Association

Ottawa (September 26, 2019) – In its new report commissioned by the CMA, the Conference Board of Canada projects major challenges for health care in Canada. Unless the federal government steps up funding, provinces/territories will be hard pressed to maintain the current level of health care, let alone meet the growing demands associated with an aging population.

The CMA has consistently advocated for an enhanced federal role in health care to address national issues, including addressing access issues for seniors, mental health and hard-to-reach populations.

“The Fiscal Health of Canadian Governments” brings to the forefront the stark fiscal realities confronting provinces/territories. With Canada’s economic growth slowing in tandem with an aging population, health care is unsustainable and hard choices will be forced upon lower tier governments. In this context, Canadians should be concerned about future cuts to services, causing even greater disparities and dire outcomes.

“While political leaders are making health care commitments on the campaign trail, the fiscal realities will make it impossible to keep pace with what the future holds,” says CMA President Dr. Sandy Buchman. “The message is clear: the federal government will need to step up to ensure provinces and territories can maintain our public health care system.”

For years, the CMA has been actively working to highlight the urgency of addressing growing shortfalls in health care. This election, the CMA is calling on all federal political parties to commit to:

  • a demographic-based top-up to the Canada Health Transfer, to provide extra funding to provinces and territories based on population aging;
  • a seniors care benefit, to help cover additional out-of-pocket expenses for seniors and their caregivers who currently spend over $9 billion to care for their loved ones;
  • a $1.2 billion primary health care transition fund to support the medical home model to improve access to primary care; and,
  • support for a pan-Canadian medical licensure, to expand virtual care and deliver health care to people in remote areas.