March 25, 2022 (Ottawa) – Today’s news that the federal government is coming forward with new funding to help address the significant backlog of medical procedures is a welcome step towards shoring up Canada’s healthcare system, which has been besieged by the COVID-19 pandemic for more than two years.
HealthCareCAN, the national organization representing hospitals, health research institutes and healthcare organizations, has been stressing that urgent support is required to address increased demand and to shore up the system to meet emerging and future challenges. Importantly, the federal government has also pledged to work collaboratively with provinces and territorial governments to advance key healthcare challenges, many of which existed well before the pandemic. HealthCareCAN is pleased to see that the federal government is now recognizing this as a critical priority that must be addressed with short-term and long-term action.
“It is vital that healthcare organizations have the necessary resources to continue dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic while also providing other vital health services such as surgical interventions and other treatments that had to be delayed due to pandemic demands,” said Paul-Émile Cloutier, President and CEO, HealthCareCAN. “Today’s announcement is a good start and we are pleased that the federal government is responding to concerns expressed by our members. Now we must also act urgently to strengthen our system for the future.”
To help develop a new vision for healthcare in Canada, HealthCareCAN has been calling for a meeting between the federal, provincial and territorial governments to discuss how we can as a nation shore up Canada’s health system for future challenges, with a focus on key specific issues including:
- Strengthened support for health research and innovation: Federal investment in health research pales in comparison to what is invested in many other OECD countries. Canada’s jurisdictional divides and regulatory landscape discourage partnerships and global investment.
- A national health workforce planning strategy: Canada does not have enough healthcare workers to meet present, let alone future, demand in the health system. Healthcare is a people business and we urgently need a pan-Canadian approach to health human resources planning.
- Support for better aging: Canada must develop a pan-Canadian approach to improve health and social services for older adults, ensuring they align with their needs and wishes.
- Modernization of Canada’s healthcare system: The federal government must better support health sector infrastructure, including digital infrastructure and cybersecurity, to streamline the health system, support virtual care, and improve access and health outcomes.
- Ensuring funding for the healthcare system. There is growing concern about the future sustainability of healthcare in Canada. Will there be enough money to provide care to patients?
- Modernizing how we deliver care. COVID-19 has exposed the system’s flaws and gaps and clearly shown that the way we delivered care today is no longer satisfactory. A rethink of the entire health system is critical while better connecting the care continuum.
“HealthCareCAN remains ready and eager to work with governments and our members in on ideas and actions to modernize and ensure the sustainability of Canada’s healthcare system,” added Mr. Cloutier.
For more information: Alexandria Rowe, Communications and Member Services
ARowe@healthcarecan.ca — 855-236-0213/613-241-8005 ext. 221 │ Cell: 613-220-1023