Progress Report focuses on innovative practices that are achieving
TORONTO, June 4, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, the Health Council of Canada releases Progress Report 2012: Health care renewal in Canada, highlighting the progress achieved by governments to date in five key
areas: home and community care, health human resources, telehealth,
access to care in the North, and comparable health indicators since the
2003 health accord was signed.
The report finds that, overall, provinces and territories have met most
of what was expected of them in these five areas. They met their
commitments to expand home care coverage, to increase the supply of
health care providers, to expand use of telehealth services, to improve
access to care in the North and to improve public reporting.
Key findings related to five of the accord commitments include:
Home and community care- Many provinces/territories have moved forward in expanding home and
community care services. However, there is variability in access to home care throughout Canada. For example,
progress on end-of-life care differs in terms of which services are
covered in each jurisdiction.
Health human resources- The supply of health care professionals in Canada has increased from
2006 to 2010. The number of physicians grew by 12% to almost 70,000.
Telehealth- The use of telehealth has increased significantly by 35% annually over
the last five years. In 2010, over 5700 telehealth sites were being
used in close to 1,200 communities across the country.
Access to care in the North- With additional federal funding in 2004 progress has been demonstrated
within each of the three territories. However, all three territories
face significant challenges in the recruitment and retention of health
Comparable health indicators- Each province and territory does its own reporting using their own set
of indicators and performance reporting frameworks. There is a need for
more comparable pan-Canadian reporting on health system performance.
Although, the report finds that most provincial and territorial
governments met their commitments, it also questions whether it was
enough to move health care forward. The evidence suggests that since
the accords contained vague commitments with few targets, there was
more emphasis on putting provinces and territories on similar footing
than to push them towards achieving more change and advancements in
health care delivery.
"Real progress is made when comprehensive strategies with concrete
targets are put in place," said Dr. Jack Kitts, Chair of the Health Council of Canada. "An improved approach to goal-setting and performance measurement in
the health system will provide greater impetus to change and achieve
higher levels of progress."
The report found that the accords established a series of comparable health indicators for the provinces
and territories to report on to the public beginning in 2004. However,
comparable reporting only lasted a few years, largely because provinces
and territories began to develop reporting frameworks to address their
respective planning needs. As a result, the provinces and territories
have not consistently reported on progress in the same manner,
particularly in a way that is comparable and useful to other
governments, the health system and the public. This lack of clear,
consistent and comparable information about health system performance
makes it challenging for agencies such as the Health Council to provide
a national picture to Canadians on progress being made in health
systems across Canada.
"What we found this year is that there is more work to be done,
especially on comparable indicators. But there is good news. We found a
wide array of innovative practices like telehealth services for First
Nations in Manitoba or a model of care initiative in Nova Scotia, said John G. Abbott, CEO of the Health Council of Canada. "If practices like these are adopted more widely, they could
accelerate progress across Canada."
Progress Report 2012: Health care renewal in Canada describes overall progress in Canada highlighting innovative practices
from across Canada demonstrating how this progress has been achieved.
The Health Council website provides additional details on the progress
being achieved by each of the federal, provincial and territorial
governments on these five themes. And, for the first time, the report
includes activities from Alberta which recently joined the Health
Council this year.
About the Health Council of Canada
Created by the 2003 First Ministers' Accord on Health Care Renewal, the Health Council of Canada is an independent national agency that
reports on the progress of health care renewal. The Council provides a
system-wide perspective on health care reform in Canada, and
disseminates information on innovative practices and innovation across
the country. The Councillors are appointed by the participating
provincial and territorial governments and the Government of Canada.
To read commentary from guest bloggers, including heath care users and health industry leaders, or to download
the full report/appendix visit: www.healthcouncilcanada.ca.
Image with caption: "Progress report 2012: Health care renewal in Canada (CNW Group/Health Council of Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120604_C5262_PHOTO_EN_14527.jpg
SOURCE Health Council of Canada
For further information:
or to arrange an interview please contact:
Yeena Peng, Manager, Media Relations, Health Council of Canada
firstname.lastname@example.org, O: 416-480-7100, C: 416-407-2635