Progress Report calls for clearer goals to ensure greater progress and
OTTAWA, ON, May 31, 2011 /CNW/ - Today, the Health Council of Canada
releases Progress Report 2011: Health care renewal in Canada, highlighting the progress being achieved to date on wait times,
pharmaceuticals management, electronic health records, teletriage, and
health care innovation since 2003.
This report on Canada's health care performance is a pan-Canadian look
at five key commitments of the 2003 First Ministers' Accord on Health Care Renewal and the 2004 10-Year Plan to Strengthen Health Care.
Key findings on the five accord commitments include:
Wait times: Governments have implemented comprehensive wait time reduction
strategies for certain agreed upon procedures. As a result, 8 in 10
Canadian patients are treated within accepted benchmarks for these
priority procedures. The next step is to achieve consistent timely care
for all patients and to apply benchmarks beyond the five priority
Pharmaceuticals management: Progress on the national pharmaceuticals strategy has stalled.
Individual jurisdictions have taken separate action to expand coverage,
to bring down generic drug prices, to increase pharmacists' scope of
practice, and to put drug information systems in place.
Electronic health records (EHR): An electronic health record is available for almost 50% of Canadians.
This does not include electronic medical record systems in doctors'
offices - where Canada rates quite low. Further investment is required.
Teletriage: Almost all jurisdictions offer 24/7 telephone access to a primary health
care provider and health information for their residents.
Health innovation: The federal government continues to invest in health innovation but
more investment will be required if Canada is going to improve its
standing as a mid-level performer.
Progress, to date, has been varied across jurisdictions. The report
recognized that in 2003 and 2004 the provincial, territorial, and
federal governments promised broad solutions but the Accords themselves
contained few concrete targets. This has allowed each individual
government to identify their own priorities to meet the needs of their
citizens. Overall, the report concluded that progress has been made but
more can be done to ensure all Canadians share in the improvements.
"We are optimistic with the progress made to date. All 14 jurisdictions
- essentially separate health care systems unto themselves - have made
significant progress in select areas, depending on their own
priorities," said Dr. Jack Kitts, Chair of the Health Council of
Canada. "To achieve the full promise of the Accords, we need all
governments working together."
The report also calls for better health management strategies: where
jurisdictions have comprehensive strategies in place- complete with
meaningful targets and measurable goals -better progress appear to have
"Adoption of a basic management strategy with clear goals will lead to
sustained progress. Using this approach Canadians can hold their
governments accountable for achieving their commitments," said John G.
Abbott, CEO of the Health Council of Canada. "For example, wait times
could be the success story of the Accords. Evidence-based benchmarks
for select procedures were set in 2005. Most provinces now provide
patients with detailed information on wait times online. Furthermore,
governments are either meeting their commitments or explaining any
shortcomings - which in itself, is progress."
Progress Report 2011: Health care renewal in Canada describes overall progress in Canada highlighting examples of how
progress has been achieved. The Health Council website provides
additional details about each of the provincial and territorial
governments' progress to date.
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 best 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:
SOURCE Health Council of Canada
For further information:
Yeena Peng, Manager, Media Relations, Health Council of Canada
firstname.lastname@example.org, O: 416-480-7100, C: 416-407-2635