Canadian Medical Association

On May 11, more than 700 Canadians tuned in for a virtual Health Summit session on health care and the economy hosted by The Globe and Mail. CMA President Dr. Katharine Smart took part in an engaging panel discussion on how to transform the health system for the future.  

Other panellists included Dr. Dante Morra, president of Trillium Health Partners, Cheryl Prescod, executive director of Black Creek Community Health Centre, and Craig Conoley, a millennial caregiver and patient advocate.

Watch the panel

Here are five key take-aways:

Fund health care based on patient needs, not system needs

  • Integrate the delivery of care from start to finish
  • Link outcomes and accountability to funding
  • Ensure equitable access 

“There has to be a big adult conversation about how we best spend our universal health care dollars.” — Dr. Dante Morra, Health Summit panellist

Restructure primary care

  • Expand team-based care or family health teams
  • Support more community-based health care
  • Review compensation models

“Are we creating the right incentives? I think most physicians entering primary care would tell you we’re incentivizing volume, not patient-centred care.” — Dr. Katharine Smart, Health Summit panellist

Address social health needs

  • Support and provide incentives for community health centres
  • Provide marginalized communities with food security, housing and infrastructure for healthy living
  • Co-ordinate care across the health system to improve health outcomes

“The postal code you live in should not determine whether you are a hot spot for infectious disease. We have to think about patching those cracks that were found through COVID.” — Cheryl Prescod, Health Summit panellist

Harness the value of caregivers

  • Invite them to be part of the patient’s health care team
  • Teach them hands-on skills alongside hospital staff
  • Spotlight their stories and contributions

“I think my generation is the hidden backbone of the health care economy. If we’re not supported to thrive, versus solely survive or merely exist, the resulting systemic backlog could bring the system to its knees.” — Craig Conoley, Health Summit panellist

Gather data to track progress

  • Ensure we get the best outcomes for our investments
  • Provide valuable feedback to the health system – i.e., where is the waste and how can we do better?

“This isn’t about new inventions. It’s about scaling things we know work and then monitoring how we’re doing, making changes, and advancing on what we are doing well.” — Dr. Katharine Smart, Health Summit panellist

The CMA is holding two more Health Summit sessions:

On May 26, leading health and policy experts in Quebec will discuss the creation of value in a redesigned health care system. This webcast is hosted by l’Université de Montréal’s H-POD and is in French onlyLearn more and register.

On June 8, Dr. Verna Yiu, former CEO of Alberta Health Services, and a multi-professional panel will explore strategies to tackle the health workforce shortage in Canada. Learn more and register.

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

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