Council of the Federation Points to Need for Action to Transform Health Care

HALIFAX, July 26, 2012 /CNW/ - Canada's front-line health care providers today applauded the Council of the Federation for presenting a new process and plan to transform the health care system to put the needs of patients first. Now the challenge will be to ensure the report lives up to its name.

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA), the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) and the Health Action Lobby (HEAL) are in Halifax to mark the release of From Innovation to Action: The First Report of the Health Care Innovation Working Group, which was developed in close consultation with the three organizations.

The report features examples of local and specific initiatives that can be used to expand the use of best practices in clinical care and collaboration among health care professionals. In accepting the report, Canada's premiers pointed to the working group model as one with promise for continuing work that will transform the health care system.

"Beyond the important recommendations, this report also shows the benefit of collaborating with front-line health care professionals to improve the health care system for all Canadians," said Dr. John Haggie, president of the Canadian Medical Association. "This represents a sea-change in thinking that could be made even more powerful if the federal government were to join in the process."

"We are committed to working with Canada's premiers and ministers of health on the development of a pan-Canadian implementation plan for the report's recommendations," said Barbara Mildon, president of the Canadian Nurses Association. "We look forward to building on this new foundation for health system transformation that advances patient-centred care."

"With the direct involvement and contributions from a broad spectrum of health providers, this unique pan-Canadian process has identified some important next steps in the areas of clinical practice guidelines, team-based delivery models and health human resource planning, said. Glenn Brimacombe, co-chair of HEAL. "With strong leadership from Premiers Wall and Ghiz, and senior officials, members of HEAL look forward to continue working in partnership to transform the health system to meet the changing health needs of Canadians."

As this work develops, Canada's front-line health care professionals are urging federal and provincial governments to adopt the principles developed by the CNA and the CMA to guide their deliberations. To date, some 120 health, medical and patient organizations have endorsed these principles, which define a health care system that is patient-centred, quality, health promotion and illness prevention, equitable, sustainable and accountable.

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians.  Founded in 1867, 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. The CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing over 74,000 of Canada's physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 51 national medical organizations.

CNA is the national professional voice of registered nurses in Canada. A federation of 11 provincial and territorial nursing associations and colleges representing 146,788 registered nurses, CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada's publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.

HEAL is a coalition of 36 national health and consumer associations and organizations dedicated to protecting and strengthening Canada's health system. It represents more than half a million providers and consumers of health care. HEAL was formed in 1991 out of concern over the erosion of the federal government's role in supporting a national health care system.

SOURCE: Canadian Medical Association (CMA)

For further information:

Lucie Boileau, Manager, Media Relations, CMA
Tel. : 1 800 663-7336 / 613 731-8610 ext. 1266
Cell. : 613 447-0866

Kate Headley, External Communications Coordinator
Canadian Nurses Association
Tel: 613-237-2159, ext. 561
Cell: 613-697-7507

Mr. Glenn Brimacombe, Co-Chair, HEAL
Tel: 613 730-5818, x323
Cell: 613 866-3613

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Canadian Medical Association (CMA)

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