Toronto (ON) – August 13, 2019 – For two days, over 1,000 physicians, health stakeholders and patients came together in Toronto to explore how leveraging technology will improve the health care system. At the conclusion of the second annual Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Health Summit, the message was clear: it’s time to put technology at the service of the health care system and Canadians.
"It’s clear that our health care system is strained, and we need to innovate. The technology is available, and we need to connect the dots to leverage it,” says Dr. Gigi Osler, the CMA’s outgoing president. “The CMA is excited to take the next steps – whether it’s by working on scaling up virtual care in Canada or exploring how to further enable other technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to improve health and health outcomes.”
One of the key sessions over the past two days was on virtual care, an important focus for the CMA. The association, along with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada, is leading a virtual care task force, with recommendations to be released later this year.
Last week, the CMA released the findings of a new report, The future of connected health care, which highlighted an increased eagerness from Canadians to integrate more technology into health care.
Dr. Sandy Buchman takes the helm as CMA president
The end of the conference also marked the start of Dr. Sandy Buchman’s tenure as CMA president. Dr. Buchman is a home-based palliative and end-of-life care physician working through Toronto’s Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care. He’s also involved with the Inner City Health Associates Palliative Education and Care for the Homeless program and is an associate professor in the University of Toronto’s Department of Family and Community Medicine.
“With a federal election looming, the CMA will be taking a leading role to bring issues such as digital health to the attention of our policy-makers,” says Dr. Sandy Buchman, CMA president for 2019-2020. “It’s time to put health on the federal agenda and move to improve our health care system for physicians and for patients.”