Today, Canada’s health minister said: “health care is a shared responsibility”. At the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), we could not agree more. Over the years, the foundation of universal health care has been cracking under the pressures of a system that was not designed to address the evolving needs of its population.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought a harsh spotlight on these cracks, which grew deeper and deeper with each wave. Along its path, it left us feeling helpless to support the needs of ageing patients, ensuring a thriving workforce, addressing the growing mental health needs and, ultimately, providing the basic care to Canadians as originally intended.
The CMA is supportive of the priorities outlined today by the federal government, specifically the need to better support health care workers; addressing the backlogs of treatment, diagnoses and procedures; improving access to care; and expanding access to primary care.
Our message to governments at every level: rebuilding our battered health system and offering relief to an exhausted and burnt-out workforce should be a shared priority. Federal, provincial and territorial governments all have a responsibility to support better health outcomes for patients.
Canada’s physicians have rolled up their sleeves on the front lines of our health system every day, and we’re ready to collaborate with governments as we pave the road ahead for a better health system for all.
Dr. Katharine Smart, President
Canadian Medical Association