March 10, 2022 – Tomorrow marks the two-year anniversary of the World Health Organization recognizing COVID-19 as a global pandemic. In that time the healthcare system has battled through wave after wave of COVID infections, but we have not yet seen the required political leadership, vision and commitment to modernize our healthcare system.
While Canadians prepare for a post-pandemic normal, healthcare organizations across the country are still in crisis. Critical shortages of health workers, brought on by burnout and exhaustion in all health professions, at all career levels are impacting our health system’s ability to respond to the needs of patients, families and communities.
But this issue is just a symptom of a larger and more insidious problem: Our health system is not built to handle modern needs and has been slowly crumbling under decades of mounting pressure.
Hospitals and healthcare infrastructure has not been meaningfully updated in decades, our health workforce data and analytics lags other OECD countries, and we lack a strategy to identify and fill vacancies in roles that meet long-term health system needs. Furthermore, Canada’s jurisdictional divides and regulatory landscape discourage partnerships and global investment in health research and innovation, and we have no pan-Canadian approach to improving health and social services for older adults or people of all ages requiring mental health and addictions care.
We need innovative short-term and long-term solutions to address these issues. As a nation we desperately need to come together, and take the lessons learned from the pandemic – and the decades of research and experience before it – to build a system that works seamlessly across the country.
As the national voice of hospitals and healthcare organizations across Canada, we can help. Our members are eager to work with all levels of government to find meaningful short- and long-term solutions to our health system woes so that our health system – and its workforce – can continue to provide high-quality patient care when and where they need it.
John Archibald Wheeler once famously said Einstein’s third rule of work was: “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Indeed, the pandemic has presented a generational opportunity to work together to rethink a better healthcare system. We cannot afford to do nothing and risk slipping back into old patterns of behaviour. Sticking with the status quo didn’t work before the pandemic and it will certainly not work after.
President and CEO
HealthCareCAN is the national voice of healthcare organizations, hospitals an health research institutions across Canada. We foster informed and continuous, results-oriented discovery and innovation across the continuum of healthcare.
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Media contact: Alexandria Rowe, Communications and Member Services
855-236-0213/613-241-8005 ext. 221 │ Cell: 613-220-1023
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