We’re pleased to see the federal government confirm significant health funding commitments as part of budget 2023-24. These commitments reflect the CMA’s tireless advocacy with providers and patients.
Investments which expand access are essential to deliver better care for patients and better work environments for providers. Physicians and health professionals have the ideas, the passion and the capacity for innovation to maximize the impact of these dollars. The task of rebuilding health care for the future, keeping everyone at the table, starts today.
#Budget2023 reflects the work that needs to be done for patients and providers, serving as a catalyst for change. Real change is possible, but only if we keep up momentum and dare to do #CDNhealth differently.#cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/utJnQwrObF— Canadian Medical Association (@CMA_Docs) March 28, 2023
Hi, I’m Dr. Alika Lafontaine, the president of the Canadian Medical Association. This year’s budget shows the Federal government has heard our concerns about collapsing health systems and its impact on worsening patient access.
With its focus on shared provincial and territorial priorities - things like health care services, mental health and access to primary care - provinces, territories, providers, patients and other stakeholders will be gathering around tables in coming months, solving these issues, together.
The budget is just the beginning, however. There’s a lot of work to be done so that Canadians get more timely and effective access to the care they so desperately need.
Change takes some time to trickle-down, but I’m confident it’s coming. And that’s great news for Canadians.
We need change now
More Canadians than ever are unable to access care in a timely manner, with 6.5 million without a primary care provider and longer wait times for everything from emergency services to surgeries like knee and hip replacements.
Meanwhile, overworked health workers are past the point of exhaustion. Physicians are reporting unprecedented levels of burnout and a decline in their mental health.
We've made progress on health care challenges
Today's budget is only one example of change on the horizon:
- This year, we’ve seen historic advancements in physician mobility in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces, paving the way for national licensure.
- The boost in federal health spending seen in today’s budget was first announced in February, signaling a renewed commitment to collaboration between all levels of government to improve care.
- Early in March, the House of Commons released a long-awaited report addressing Canada’s health workforce crisis, with many of its recommendations reflecting the provider-driven solutions we put forward in partnership with the Canadian Nurses Association and the College of Family Physicians of Canada.
The future starts here
Real change is possible, but only if we keep up momentum and dare to do health care differently. We will continue to advocate for these and other critical reforms, working alongside Canada's physicians to ensure better access for patients and healthier working environments for providers.
That’s a future – and progress – we should all stand up for.