Over 30,000 Canadians Demand a Plan for seniors care

A Statement from Dr. Cindy Forbes, President of the Canadian Medical Association

OTTAWA, Feb. 5, 2016 /CNW/ - The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has engaged with over 70 organizations and the public to draw attention to a major problem in our health care system: it was created over half a century ago to meet the needs of a much younger population and has not adapted to meet the growing number of aging Canadians.

From overcrowded emergency rooms to a lack of long-term care facilities and support services for home care, too many of Canada's seniors are not getting the health care they deserve – not even close.

According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, five to 15 per cent of acute care beds in our country's hospitals are occupied by seniors with no place to go because we haven't properly invested in long-term care facilities or support services necessary for home care.

By our calculation, the warehousing of seniors in hospital beds – seniors who do not require hospital care – is costing the system an extra $2.3 billion a year.

It's for these reasons that the CMA took action, partnering with its members, stakeholders and the public to "Demand a Plan" for a national seniors strategy. This strategy focuses on providing patient-centred care outside of the hospital and in our communities —care that would be more appropriate and cost less, ultimately benefiting the system as a whole.

After gaining over 30,000 supporters in less than a year, the Demand a Plan campaign has shown how strongly Canadians feel about the urgent need to improve the way we care for our seniors.

Supporters have sent over 40,000 letters to Parliamentarians demanding better health care for seniors across the country. These efforts have not gone unnoticed, as we now have a government pledging to ensure our health care system adapts to the needs of our aging population.  

From the doctors of Canada, a great big thank you to the over 30,000 Canadians who have joined us in demanding better for our parents and grandparents, friends and neighbours. We know that with your support, we can continue to lead the discussion on seniors care and build a system that works to benefit all Canadians. 

--Dr. Cindy Forbes, President of the Canadian Medical Association

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 helping physicians care for patients. The CMA will be the leader in engaging and serving physicians and be the national voice for the highest standards for health and health care.


SOURCE Canadian Medical Association

Video with caption: "Over 30,000 Canadians Demand a Plan for seniors care - A Statement from Dr. Cindy Forbes, President of the Canadian Medical Association". Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-zwb2eqaLY

For further information: mediainquiries@cma.ca, 613-806-1865


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