Canada's Doctors Pleased Budget Held the Line on Health

OTTAWA, March 5 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) welcomed the announcement yesterday that the federal government will release the $500 million promised for electronic medical records. It is also relieved that transfers to the provinces remain untouched.

"Canada's doctors are pleased to see that the federal government isn't planning to balance the budget on the backs of Canadian patients," said CMA President Dr. Anne Doig. "As we saw with the cuts to health care in the 1990s, the supposed cure ended up being much worse than the disease."

After months of delay, the federal budget signaled that the funds promised to Canada Health Infoway in 2009 would finally flow. This move will speed up the introduction of electronic medical record systems in doctors' offices and ultimately improve patient care.

"We applaud the government for releasing the $500 million earmarked in the last budget for electronic medical records," added Dr. Doig. "The doctors of Canada have been pushing for this since last summer and we're glad that our efforts paid off. The real winners, of course, will be our patients who will benefit from more efficient and integrated care."

The CMA was also glad that the federal government recognized the importance of health promotion and disease prevention. The $6 million for ParticipACTION, the $45 million for the Northern Food Mail program, the $285 million for Aboriginal Health initiatives and the extension of the First Nations Water and Wastewater Program are all wise investments.

"The easiest way to save money in our health care system is to try to keep people from having to access it in the first place," concluded Dr. Doig. "Money spent now on health promotion and disease prevention will pay huge dividends in the future."

SOURCE Canadian Medical Association

For further information: For further information: Lucie Boileau, Manager, Media Relations, Tel.: (613) 731-8610 x1266, Cell.: (613) 447-0866, lucie.boileau@cma.ca


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