Byelection candidates must not forget about health, aging issues, CMA says

OTTAWA, Nov. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Medical Association (CMA)  is calling on voters in the four federal ridings being contested in the Nov. 25 byelections to ask the candidates some pointed questions about health care, particularly the lack of a national seniors care strategy.

"Politicians like to talk about issues with easy sound-bite answers," CMA President Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti said today. "But sound bites aren't going to build the strategy we need to ensure Canadians' future health and well being. Health care issues have received short shrift from politicians for too long."

The CMA announced it is running ads in Toronto Centre, Brandon-Souris, Provencher and Bourassa ridings to highlight the importance of a national seniors strategy for health and home care.

"We are not supporting any political party over the other," he said. "We are pro-health and that's it."

Fourteen per cent of the Canadian population is now over 65. That percentage will rise to 25% in 2033. Yet there are no plans for a national seniors strategy for home, long-term and palliative care, Dr. Francescutti said.

"There is a silver tsunami coming and our system needs to change to meet evolving needs," he said. "We have thousands of seniors stuck in acute-care hospital beds when they could be getting more appropriate, high-quality and cost-effective care in long-term care facilities or at home with proper assistance."

"If all politics is truly local, there is nothing more local than the health of voters and their loved ones," Dr. Francescutti said.

For more information, follow #seniorshealth or visit healthcaretransformation.ca.

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, the CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing more than 80,000 of Canada's physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 51 national medical organizations. CMA's mission is to serve and unite the physicians of Canada and be the national advocate, in partnership with the people of Canada, for the highest standards of health and health care.

SOURCE: Canadian Medical Association

For further information:

Dominique Jolicoeur, Communications Officer
dominique.jolicoeur@cma.ca
Tel.: 800-663-7336 / 613-731-8610 ext. 2038 Cell.: 613-809-5669


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