Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu met virtually in late October with HealthCareCAN Board members and representatives to discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare and health research in Canada.
Leaders representing healthcare and health research institutes from across the country engaged with the Minister on topics ranging from concerns over the workload facing frontline healthcare staff, healthcare challenges facing First Nations communities, the importance of maintaining health research collaboration, and the urgent need for federal support for straining healthcare infrastructure.
Minister Hajdu made a point of recognizing and thanking those working in Canada’s health care system, saying that the COVID-19 pandemic’s toll would be much greater if it were not for the dedication of healthcare workers. She also urged HealthCareCAN members to continue to be the voice of science and evidence and help combat misinformation that undermines the battle against COVID-19.
The Minister also recognized that individuals working on the frontlines are facing serious stress, heavy workloads and mental health impacts. Minister Hajdu said this is an issue she and other federal officials are working to address with their provincial and territorial counterparts to enhance health human resource capacity. HealthCareCAN will continue to press for urgent action to address health workforce issues, given the challenges that have been highlighted across the country.
Given the ongoing pandemic issues and their effects on the healthcare system, HealthCareCAN and the Minister’s offices communicate regularly to exchange information. As the federal government readies its fall economic update, HealthCareCAN is redoubling its government relations activities to ensure healthcare and health research issues remain front and centre.
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