Modern society depends on robust and resilient critical infrastructure. Our health system relies on energy, water, transport, information and communications technology, and other services, just as those sectors depend on essential services from health organizations and providers. Interdependencies within and between sectors are becoming increasingly complex. The rate and severity of natural disasters is also increasing, as is our overall connectivity and dependence on information and communication technologies.
Understanding and mitigating risks posed by potential hazards is essential to the resilience of our critical infrastructure. This requires an integrated perspective since vulnerabilities in one area can have cascading effects across organizational boundaries, sectors, and borders.
Our Clarion Call
For the last decade, Canadian hospitals and healthcare institutions have been excluded from federal infrastructure funding, even as they have been transforming to meet the evolving needs of patients. If Canada is to continue providing safe, innovative, high-quality healthcare for its citizens, we must update and upgrade our aging hospital infrastructure.
Allow healthcare organizations to apply directly for federal infrastructure, innovation, and research funding support, per FINA’s recommendation in 2017.
Hazards of aging health infrastructure
Weakened Disaster Responsiveness
Decreased ability to respond to disasters (e.g. extreme weather)
Risks to Patient Safety
Increased probability of accidents or hazards (e.g. hospital-acquired infections)
Costs to the Environment
Inability to deploy clean energy solutions
Canada’s leaders must prioritize crumbling health infrastructure
Laying a strong foundation for a pan-Canadian approach to health care must start with federal investment in health infrastructure.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed serious weaknesses and gaps in our patchwork Canadian health system. However, the COVID-19 crisis has also given us the unique opportunity to see how best to rebuild our system to better meet current challenges and those sure to come. For the federal government, Wednesday’s Speech from the Throne provides an important opportunity to increase support for health care infrastructure, a move that will have a significant, positive, and long-lasting impact on the health of Canadians.
Time for federal leadership
Healthcare quality and outcomes hindered by access issues
This article reviews perceptions of Canada’s public and health professionals regarding access and quality of healthcare. Principal data sources were 13 sequential Health Care in Canada (HCIC) surveys, from 1998 to 2018. A persistent and growing issue in all regions of the country is concern around timely access to care. This concern about timely access involves all major components of healthcare delivery and is anticipated to worsen. Sub-optimal access continues to undermine quality of care.
Green Health Infrastructure
Green is Green
Improving the Health, Economic and Environmental Impact, Resilience and Sustainability of Canada’s Hospitals through Green Infrastructure
It is estimated that Canadian hospitals account for 8% of public green-house gas emissions and 11% of total public energy consumption. We believe it is time for Canada to join the movement and include hospital considerations in its sustainable development, green infrastructure and climate change agenda.
Hospitals Building Healthier Communities
Investing Today to Meet the Needs of Tomorrow
With an economy in a state of flux and rising unemployment rates, hospitals provide much needed economic support and stability to communities across Canada. In many communities, a hospital may be the largest employer and can become an integrated part of the community’s framework. HealthCareCAN members alone employ over 600,000 Canadians. However, the state of infrastructure in our country is preventing our research hospitals from performing these essential roles.
Deferred Hospital Maintenance
There is More to ‘a Building’ than Building it
Review the evidence of deferred maintenance in Canadian hospitals and find out what deferred maintenance is, why it’s important, and what needs to be done about it.