February 3, 2023 (Ottawa) – As provincial and territorial leaders prepare to make their way to Ottawa to meet with the Prime Minister on Feb. 7, HealthCareCAN urges all levels of government to come together on an agreement on how best to address Canada’s ailing healthcare system.
“Canadians are tired of debates over who is responsible for healthcare,” said Paul-Émile Cloutier, president and CEO of HealthCareCAN. “We need our governments to align on concrete actions and investments so that years from now, we don’t look back, wishing we did more to address health workforce challenges, bolster research capacity towards innovation, prepare for an aging population, and deal with the impacts of climate change on health.”
While HealthCareCAN, the national voice of hospitals, research institutes and healthcare organizations, recognizes that this single meeting is no magic bullet, we propose a suite of recommendations be implemented with input from patients, health system leaders, and providers. Supported by increased transfers, these measures would help bring about real, measurable action to address challenges and emerging issues in the healthcare system. These recommendations include:
- Recognizing that the Canada Health Act is no longer fit for purpose and needs to be updated to meet the needs of today’s patients.
- Better integration, interoperability and sharing of healthcare data, including use for research purposes and modeling demand for healthcare services across jurisdictions.
- Centralize health research data and facilitate health research and innovation across institutions and jurisdictions to foster improved health outcomes and system transformation, including by creating a pan-Canadian health research data repository and clinical trials platform.
- Public and timely reporting on common key health system indicators like wait times, staffing, and health outcomes.
- Collaboration and coordination on action related to recruitment and retention of health workers, like our proposed pan-Canadian health workforce strategy, implementing a pan-Canadian licensure approach, improving credentialing and immigration processes to get internationally educated healthcare workers into the system faster.
- Collaboration and coordination on action related to implementing new models of care, and virtual care.
- Demonstrated action to improve key areas of healthcare, like older adult care, mental health and substance misuse, health human resources, primary care, home and community care, health research, and infrastructure – with some flexibility for different focuses based on Provincial and Territorial needs.
“Our recommendations take into account that increased funding is but part of the solution,” said Dr. Michael Gardam, chair of HealthCareCAN’s Board of Directors. “HealthCareCAN and its members are adamant that if Canada truly wants a world-class health system, all levels of government must commit to transforming how health care is delivered in this country, and we hope next Tuesday’s meeting will mark the beginning of changing the dynamic that would lead to a better healthcare system, built to work for patients, for providers, for Canada.”
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