Canadian Medical Association

Care providers are struggling.

Patient care is suffering.

Find out how the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is driving action on the health care crisis.

Advocating for government collaboration and action

Transformational change to health care will require a focused, pan-Canadian response. We’re sharing the physician perspective, partnering with colleagues across the health sector and calling for action at the highest levels of the federal government as well as high-profile meetings of the Council of the Federation and federal/provincial/territorial health ministers. 

variety of different flags blowing in the wind

Our recommendations include:

  • reduced barriers to physician licensure to relieve pressure on the health workforce and increase access across the continuum of care
  • expanded team-based primary care to better support patients and doctors 
  • a national health human resources strategy to more effectively recruit and retain health workers
  • shared health data across jurisdictions to ensure accountable, transparent system reform
  • reduced administrative burdens in medicine to support physician wellness 
  • a national climate and health secretariat to coordinate sustainable, climate-resilient health systems

photo of an empty courthouse

nurse having a discussion with physicians

We are really on the peak of our challenges at the moment. We have to change how we are managing and delivering health care in Canada.

— CMA President Dr. Kathleen Ross

Leading the conversation on what health care should be

The CMA is committed to advancing reconciliation in health care. Through the spring and summer of 2023, a series of virtual Fireside Chats on Indigenous Health brought together First Nations, Inuit and Métis health leaders, knowledge-keepers, patients and advocates to talk about the path forward. The events were also an opportunity to announce the CMA’s new Indigenous health goal and work towards an apology, as the national voice of physicians, for the harms to Indigenous Peoples.

The CMA Health Summit in August drew more than 700 participants online and in person in Ottawa to discuss the broad changes needed for a more accessible, equitable and sustainable health system. Guests included the Hon. Mark Holland, newly appointed as federal health minister, pollster Shachi Kurl, Drs. Tara Kiran, Hasan Sheikh and Melissa Lem and Canada’s foremost health misinformation debunker Timothy Caulfield.

Being here with other (medical) learners and having conversations about these complex issues has been so eye opening and I feel really encouraged about the future.

— Zoey Bourgeois, medical student, University of Saskatchewan

Supporting physician wellbeing

Burnout, exhaustion and diminishing professional satisfaction should not be the norm in health care. 

One way to improve physicians’ work environment is to tackle the growing administrative burden in medicine. The CMA has partnered with MD Financial Management and Scotiabank on a $10 million Healthcare Unburdened Grant for innovative solutions.  

Changes to the health system and the culture of medicine was front and centre at the CMA’s 2023 Canadian Conference on Physician Health as well, where researchers, health leaders, physicians and medical learners shared new approaches to provider wellbeing and fulfillment. 

Medicine is a profoundly relational job and a profoundly relational endeavor. It relies on being part of a community and finding the joy, reward, health and well-being that comes from having a relationship of service and helping to others.

— Dr. Saleem Razack, 2023 Canadian Conference on Physician Health 

What physicians can 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.


Read more about the CMA's areas of focus

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