OTTAWA, Nov. 26, 2013 /CNW/ - New data from the Organisation for
Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that points to increasing
poverty among Canadian seniors underlines the country's urgent need for
a national seniors care strategy, the Canadian Medical Association
(CMA) said today.
The report found that although poverty rates among seniors fell in many
OECD countries between 2007 and 2010, in Canada they actually rose by
about two percentage points. The CMA says rising poverty rates will put
even greater strain on Canada's health care system, particularly given
that patients age 65 or older already account for nearly half of
Canada's health care spending (45% in 2009).
"By 2036 one-quarter of Canadians will be over the age of 65," said CMA
President Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti. "That is why the CMA has called
on the federal government to collaborate with provincial, territorial
and municipal governments to establish and invest in a pan-Canadian
strategy for seniors' care."
Describing the OECD finding as "alarming," Dr. Francescutti noted that a
recent CMA report, What Makes us Sick, identified poverty as a key factor causing people to suffer poor
In its submission to the federal government's planning process for the
2014 budget, the CMA called on Ottawa to develop a strategy that
includes adequate investment in long-term care, home care and
palliative and end-of-life care to ensure access to the continuum of
care. There should also be investment in programs to address
age-related health risks of particular concern, notably dementia and
injuries due to falls.
"We know that nine out of 10 Canadians (93%) believe Canada needs a
pan-Canadian strategy for seniors' health care at home, hospitals,
hospices and long-term facilities," said Dr. Francescutti, quoting a
recent Ipsos Reid poll. "We also know a similar percentage of Canadians (89%) believe a
national strategy for seniors should involve all levels of government.
"So what's the hold up? Clearly the time to act is now."
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
SOURCE: Canadian Medical Association
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