CMA, CARP challenge candidates to adopt National Seniors Strategy

Open letter to federal byelection candidates

OTTAWA, June 16, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Medical Association and CARP have come together to issue a challenge today to all candidates in the four June 30 federal by-elections to endorse or reject specific elements of a pan-Canadian seniors care strategy. 

The Seniors Care Challenge asks the candidates if they would endorse or reject 12 seniors care issues. Responses to the 12-point challenge will be posted on the two organizations' websites http://healthcaretransformation.ca/ and www.carp.ca

The questions to byelection candidates in the Ontario ridings of Trinity-Spadina and Scarborough-Agincourt and the Alberta ridings of McLeod and Fort McMurray-Athabasca [attached and copied below] ask the candidates to endorse or reject [or pass on] 12 specific seniors' care issues : 

  1. Federal role in setting standards and funding
  2. Pharmacare to ensure affordable medication regardless of postal code
  3. Wait time benchmarks for home care and long term care
  4. Timely access to palliative care
  5. National Seniors' Care Strategy with funding
  6. Caregiver support - financial, training and respite
  7. National Dementia Care Strategy
  8. Immediate national conversation on end of life care, choices, rights
  9. Tax breaks for long term care savings vehicle
  10. Integrated continuum of care
  11. Improved pension system
  12. Federal infrastructure funding for continuing care

``We are issuing this challenge along with the CMA and our local chapters in Ontario and Alberta to the candidates in the June 30 by-elections to commit to the priority health advocacy issues for CARP members. These are ballot issues for our members,'' said Susan Eng, Vice-President, Advocacy for CARP. 

Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti, CMA President, said Canada's aging society has become an urgent national issue. ``We can no longer afford to leave seniors care off the federal political agenda,'' he added. ``Health matters are a federal, provincial and territorial responsibility. Plain and simple.'' 

Polling by the CMA and CARP in recent months has shown seniors health care to be a priority issue. A Nanos Research poll commissioned by the CMA found on April 8 that almost 6 in 10 voters in key ridings across Canada said they would support another party if their current political brand fails to make seniors care a priority in the next federal election. CARP members polled consistently list health care as their top priority. 

In the 2011 federal election 64% of those casting ballots were over the age of 55. CARP members say they always vote. They are among Canada's most politically engaged voters. 

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 60 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 

CARP is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to advocating for a New Vision of Aging for Canada, social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination. CARP seeks to ensure that the marketplace serves the needs and expectations of our generation and provides value-added benefits, products and services to our members. Through our network of chapters across Canada, CARP is dedicated to building a sense of community and shared values among our members in support of CARP's mission. 

SOURCE: Canadian Medical Association

For further information:

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

Sarah Park
Media Relations, Policy Researcher and Coordinator CARP
s.park@carp.ca
Tel: 416-607-2471
Cell: 416-569-0981


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