Canadian Medical Association

Canada’s health care crisis isn’t a “pandemic problem.” 

Massive surgical backlogs, an acute shortage of family doctors and record-high burnout among health care workers have been decades in the making.

But urgent action is needed. We deserve better – now.

The CMA is committed to driving ambitious change to avoid system collapse and move the dial on longer-term health transformation.

Our goal is improving health, the health system and the health workforce at a national level – with a focus on areas where we can have the greatest impact:

woman holding a little kid

Health

We believe everyone should have the chance to be healthy. 

Our work includes the establishment of a Guiding Circle, a group of First Nations, Inuit and Métis leaders and knowledge-keepers, to shape our efforts on more equitable, relevant care for Indigenous peoples. We also continue to collaborate on both improved community support and national standards for long-term care to ensure everyone in Canada can age with dignity.

multiple countries flags waving in the wind

Health system

We believe in a sustainable, accessible health system. 

Our work includes advocating for an integrated health workforce strategy and calling for pan-Canadian medical licensure to mobilize physicians across the country. We’re also leading the conversation on health system adaptations to climate change and net-zero health care.

nurse resting her head on her hands

Health workforce

We believe physicians should be treated with the same compassion as patients. 

Our work includes a National Physician Health Survey to track stress on the profession and inform support initiatives. We successfully advocated for Bill C-3, a law that helps protect health care workers from intimidation. And we produce tools and resources for doctors and medical learners on our Physician Wellness Hub

Our influence

The CMA has advocated for and with physicians at the national level for more than 150 years. 

We were instrumental in establishing the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Public Health Agency. Our recommendations directly informed federal legislation on medical assistance in dying.

The CMA powers change by bringing the right people together for authentic conversations on solutions to tough challenges in health care.

We share information with politicians across parties and all levels of government, including at critical parliamentary meetings and studies, and the Council of the Federation. We also work with global leaders including the World Health Organization.

Our success depends on input from physicians and medical learners, as well as peers across the health system, community leaders and people with lived experience. 

We support physician advocacy and leadership more broadly through initiatives such as our Ambassador Program and courses on influence and advocacy.

What can you do to help?

Collaboration with physicians and learners of all ages, stages and specialties, from rural and remote communities as well as big cities, is essential for a better way forward.

Find out how to get involved with the CMA’s work

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