Canadian Medical Association

On June 8, more than 350 people took part in the final session of the CMA’s 2022 Health Summit Series – a discussion about the crisis facing Canada’s health workforce. 

CMA President Dr. Katharine Smart moderated the two-hour event, which featured a keynote address from Dr. Verna Yiu, former president and CEO of Alberta Health Services.

Panellists included registered nurse Amie Archibald-Varley, first-year medical resident Dr. Dax Bourcier, family physician Dr. Lynette Powell and Jake Starratt-Farr, a social worker and patient advocate.

Watch the panel

Five key take-aways from the session are to:

Create a national health human resource strategy

  • Gather data to identify gaps and trends
  • Develop “borderless” solutions, like national licensure
  • Empower international medical graduates

“It’s not going to be a straight 1:1 ratio. Going forward, when we look at workforce planning, we will always underestimate the number of people required if we don’t consider changes in demographics and changes in society.” – Dr. Verna Yiu, Health Summit keynote speaker

Expand team-based care across Canada

  • Reduce the administrative burden
  • Include patients and caregivers in the health team
  • Add more care teams at the community level

“These models are going to be our blueprint for moving forward, especially with primary care-based teams, as primary care gets more and more stretched.” – Dr. Lynette Powell, Health Summit panellist

Tailor the health workforce to patient needs and outcomes

  • Offer different payment models as an incentive
  • Use workforce data to identify gaps

“If we have a better picture of what health care in Canada looks like – what the needs are – not only now but in the future, this will help retain and attract the future workforce to fill them.” – Dr. Dax Bourcier, Health Summit panellist

Champion care in rural communities

  • Develop recruiting campaigns
  • Better welcome and support health workers
  • Encourage collaboration and team-based care

“There’s this sense that urban centres are better to work in. How do we change the conversation and focus instead on the importance of the care needed in rural areas? – Amie Archibald-Varley, Health Summit panellist

Educate health care professionals about trans health care

  • Reduce the current reliance on specialist care
  • Improve access to care
  • Develop interprofessional teams to support trans patients

“We need to reinvent our education around trans health care. Let’s arm all health care providers with the information they need so when a trans patient comes to see them, they can offer support.” – Jake Starratt-Farr, Health Summit panellist

Be part of the conversation at #CMAHealthSummit and help lead the change in health care.

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