February 21, 2023 — Representatives from HealthCareCAN member organizations Nova Scotia Health, London Health Sciences Centre, St. Joseph’s Healthcare London, and St-Boniface Hospital joined HealthCareCAN President & CEO Paul-Émile Cloutier for a virtual discussion on health system issues with member of Parliament and Shadow Minister of Health for the Conservative Party of Canada, Dr. Stephen Ellis.
The conversation covered a wide range of topics, including how the federal government could better support health system transformation, enhance health research and innovation, and bolster the health workforce.
MP Ellis signaled his support for HealthCareCAN’s recommendations and outlined the need to operationalize solutions to secure much needed healthcare improvements for patients and providers.
During the discussion, representatives from member organizations noted the need for innovative solutions to address health workforce challenges. This included the need to simplify the immigration and licensing processes for internationally educated health professionals to enable them to fill vacancies in the system, and for urgent action to support healthcare workers who are exhausted and continue to deliver quality care to people across Canada.
Dr. David Hill, Integrated Vice President, Research & Scientific Director of Lawson Health Research Institute at St. Joseph’s Health Care and London Health Sciences Centre, and co-chair of HealthCareCAN’s Vice Presidents of Health Research Committee also highlighted the workforce implications for Canadian health research.
“The lack of sustainable, long-term investment in health research means that the next generation of talent is seeing little future in a career in research in Canada and opting not to pursue this path,” said Dr. Hill. “For those individuals that do choose a career in research, many are leaving Canada to carry out research in other countries where funding is more readily available.”
MP Ellis was also keenly interested in the role of research in better understanding the impact of new ways of delivering care, including virtual care, and the contributions health research can make to improving care delivery and health outcomes.
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