February 7, 2023 (Ottawa) – HealthCareCAN, the national voice of hospitals, research institutes, health authorities and healthcare organizations, is pleased that Canada’s First Ministers finally came together in person to discuss our national healthcare crisis. This successful initial meeting must quickly lead to action to address widespread systemic failures currently undermining the ability of Canadians to get timely access to quality healthcare.
“Today’s meeting between Canada’s first ministers is a good beginning but now the real work of fixing healthcare begins,” said Paul-Émile Cloutier, president and CEO of HealthCareCAN. “While the federal proposal, with its historic investment, will address some of the short- and medium-term challenges, we need to see urgent thinking and action on long-term goals. We hope to see commitments from all levels of government that chart a course forward to improve access to care and produce better outcomes for the people of Canada and for healthcare workers across the country doing their best to overcome system challenges.”
The federal investment announced today is urgently needed to help healthcare institutions address the serious backlogs and waits for care across Canada. Going forward, there needs to be an urgent focus on breaking down the barriers and silos that impede the effective and efficient delivery of care, where patients need it. Taking a true systems-based approach to healthcare must start with addressing the fact Canada’s current models of healthcare must better respond to patient and provider needs.
“For too long across Canada we have opted for band-aid solutions instead of committing to the hard work it takes to build a truly functioning healthcare system,” said Dr. Michael Gardam, chair of HealthCareCAN’s Board of Directors. “We need to come together as a nation and have a real dialogue on the outcomes that we expect our healthcare system to deliver, then work on building that system and reporting on our progress to Canadians.”
While today’s announcement included funding through both the Canada Health Transfer (CHT) and future bilateral agreements to address specific provincial and territorial health priorities, something HealthCareCAN considers a useful approach, that dialogue must quickly lead to innovative action. Engaging with Canadians and providers on how to address these challenges will be critical to ensuring that our hobbled and outdated healthcare system can be reinvented to serve our nation now and into the future.
HealthCareCAN is pleased to see alignment between governments on key healthcare priorities, including shoring up Canada’s health workforce, reducing backlogs, increasing access to primary care, improving access to mental health and substance use services, enhancing Indigenous health, and modernizing the health system through better data sharing and the use of digital tools. Improving our current patchwork approach to healthcare delivery, including in long-term, home, community and acute care, must be a focus as governments work together to transform and better integrate the health system moving forward. We are also glad to see accountability to people across Canada built into both the CHT funding and future bilateral agreements, including through national indicators and related data collection to effectively measure progress and outcomes to ensure bilateral and other agreements buy real innovative changes.
Going forward, HealthCareCAN will continue to collaborate with patients, healthcare organizations, policymakers at the federal, provincial and territorial levels, and others to help build a healthcare system that focuses on improving access and providing better outcomes for the people of Canada.
– 30 –
Steve Wharry, Communications and member services
Cell: 613 761-8400
The federal government is failing Canadian health research – Op-Ed by Paul-Émile Cloutier, president & CEO
February 7, 2024 – A new report from the C.D. Howe Institute and HealthCareCAN states that bold action is urgently needed to transform Canada’s healthcare system to better meet the needs of citizens across the country. A new Special Policy Conference Report “Better Health Outcomes: What’s Holding Canada Back?” offers a summary of the presentations, discussions and