Ottawa, July 15, 2022 - Canadians expect and deserve timely access to health care when they need it, no matter where they live in the country or where they access care. The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is committed to the principle that all Canadians have timely access to high-quality health care regardless of their ability to pay.
The court case Cambie Surgeries Corporation v British Columbia (Attorney General) has illustrated once again the ongoing challenges the health care system has been facing, issues that the CMA and other health organizations and professionals have been raising for many years.
The health care system is in crisis. Five million Canadians do not have primary care providers. We routinely hear of emergency departments closing across Canada because of staff shortages. Surgeries are backlogged across the country. As a result, patients are suffering.
The CMA reaffirms its position that adequate public funding is required to meet the full spectrum of medically necessary health care needs for all Canadians. Increased federal and provincial/territorial health funding and collaboration will be needed to address the growing challenges and shortfalls in health care delivery. But funding alone will not address the critical systemic challenges that patients and providers face. We also need to rethink how care is delivered.
The CMA is prepared to collaborate with all governments and other stakeholders to improve the health system for the benefit of all Canadians.
Katharine Smart, MD, FRCPC
President, Canadian Medical Association