Canadian Medical Association

Dear members,

Throughout this pandemic, we’ve been keenly attuned to the financial challenges affecting physicians and learners across the country. Building on the analysis of government economic relief programs we commissioned in March, the CMA submitted a brief last month to the federal finance minister recommending the government expand access to these programs and implement new measures to support front-line health care workers.

Since then, I’ve been meeting regularly with federal officials to detail these recommendations and I’m confident we’re making progress. To date, I’ve met with MPs, Senators and party leaders from across party lines, and will continue to seek opportunities to highlight physicians’ challenges and concerns.

Support for contact tracing app

As restrictions ease in many parts of the country, we were pleased to see the federal government share details last week on a new, national contact tracing app. While recognizing the app’s potential in managing COVID-19, we believe it must be complemented by other supports. This includes ensuring public health units are properly funded and staffed, with the logistical support required to manage contact tracing, and to leverage the full potential of the app. We have also urged the government to recognize the barriers that many Canadians face in accessing technology supports of these kinds, and to take steps to help reduce these inequities.

$30 million of COVID-19 relief

Since the start of the pandemic, the CMA Foundation (CMAF) has pledged more than $30 million of support for front-line health care workers, community-based physicians and vulnerable populations. Funding is now starting to flow into communities, where it’s being used to help provide food, meal services, phone counselling and other support for people from vulnerable populations. For an overview of all the CMAF’s COVID-19 funding to date, please click here.

Overwhelming response to Joule COVID-19 grants

Thank you to all of who applied for the Joule COVID-19 Innovation grant program, which closed on Sunday. With almost 300 applications in a mere 16 days — more than any Joule grant program to date — we look forward to announcing the recipients later this summer and supporting their pandemic-focused ideas and innovations.

As a reminder, Joule’s annual Innovation grant program is accepting applications until Sept. 13. If you’re working in the area of physician health and wellness, access to care, sustainable health care or health care quality, safety and efficiency, I encourage you to visit the Joule site to learn more about how to apply.

New member resources

  • Re-opening your practice during COVID-19 has been updated with more information on determining which services to resume. This section includes consolidated clinical guidance on weighing the risks and benefits of in-person care and links to the latest provincial guidelines.

  • Joule has opened up additional dates for their free, online mindfulness workshops: July 21 and July 29 (English). Find out more and register here.

As a reminder, please don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions or suggestions. Our Member Service Centre can be reached at memberservicecentre@cma.ca or toll-free at 1-888-855-2555 (weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm EDT).

With my ongoing thanks to you,
Dr. Sandy Buchman


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