Healthy Canadians Key to a Healthy Economy

OTTAWA, March 21, 2013 /CNW/ - The CMA is encouraged by the federal government's intention to renew its infrastructure program, as announced in today's budget. "Addressing community infrastructure is good for the country," said Dr. Anna Reid, CMA president. "The next step is to focus some of that infrastructure spending on health care."

The federal, provincial and territorial governments must respond to the urgent need for a pan-Canadian strategy for continuing care. The CMA has recommended an approach whereby infrastructure funding could help integrate home care and facility-based long-term, respite and palliative care services fully within the health care system.

This is in line with the views of Premier Brad Wall (Sask.) and Premier Robert Ghiz (P.E.I.) who, as co-chairs of the Council of the Federation Health Care Innovation Working Group, said last week that Canada's aging population needs to be a priority.

"The elephant in the room when it comes to Canada's health care system is how we are going to craft a vision to better meet the needs of our aging population," said Dr. Reid. "Canada badly needs a plan to ensure we have the necessary infrastructure in place to ensure our fathers, mothers, grandfathers and others get the right care, at the right time, in the right place."

The CMA noted government initiatives related to affordable housing, homelessness and Aboriginal Health. These are important areas, as the CMA has heard in its ongoing National Dialogue with Canadians on health care transformation (www.healthcaretransformation.ca).

"Canadians want governments to move now to address the social determinants of health, the factors that cause people to be sick in the first place, such as low income, housing and hunger," said Dr. Reid.

The CMA has also noted the government's investment in research, namely the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

"To have a healthy economy, we need healthy Canadians," Dr. Reid said. "To achieve that goal, we need a vision and a plan, along with the commitment of all levels of government, to support healthy Canadians and communities across the country."

The CMA paper The Need for Health Infrastructure in Canada can be found at: http://www.cma.ca/multimedia/CMA/Content_Images/Inside_cma/Submissions/2013/Health-Infrastructure_en.pdf

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 77,000 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:

Lucie Boileau, Senior Advisor, Communications and Public Outreach
lucie.boileau@cma.ca
Tel.: 800-663-7336 / 613-731-8610 ext. 1266
Cell.: 613-447-0866


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