Canadian health care leaders join together to advance resident duty hours

OTTAWA, March 19, 2013 /CNW/ - Physicians, residents and health care leaders from across Canada came together at last week's Canadian Consensus Conference on Resident Duty Hours to help develop national guidelines on one of Canadian health care's most pressing issues. Held from March 14-15, the conference was part of the Health Canada supported project, Towards a Pan-Canadian Consensus on Resident Duty Hours.

"There was unanimous agreement at this conference that the status quo is not acceptable," says Dr. Kevin Imrie, chair of the project's National Steering Committee. "Resident duty hours are being debated and discussed across Canada and we're committed to developing a collective, pan-Canadian response."

The National Steering Committee on Resident Duty Hours is led by nine stakeholder groups and expert working groups from across the medical education and health care systems. Formed last year, the committee has worked to examine all the available evidence on the issue, both in Canada and abroad, as well as to facilitate a national, consensus-building process among residents, educators, governments, policy makers, hospitals, patient safety experts and others. The consensus conference was a vital step in this process.

During this two-day event, attendees examined the potential impacts that changing resident duty hours could have on patient safety, medical education, wellness of residents and faculty, professionalism, health systems and contemporary events in Canada. This unique forum provided physicians, residents and others from across Canada the opportunity to hear evidence, raise concerns and share their unique perspectives on this complex issue.

During the coming months, the National Steering Committee will develop a final report to help establish a pan-Canadian framework on resident duty hours, while recognizing the unique needs of different disciplines and health settings nationwide. This groundbreaking report will help inform medical residency programs across Canada.

"This consensus report will provide national guidance to prevent and mitigate physician fatigue and its potential risks," says Dr. Imrie, "while also ensuring that Canadians continue to receive the highest quality of care, both now and in the future."

Towards a Pan-Canadian Consensus on Resident Duty Hours is led by a partnership of national health care organizations and expert working groups involved in Canadian postgraduate medical education. The National Steering Committee is composed of experts from across Canada and representatives from the Advisory Committee on Health Delivery and Human Resources, Association of Canadian Academic Healthcare Organizations, Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada - Postgraduate Deans, Canadian Association of Internes and Residents, College of Family Physicians of Canada, Canadian Medical Association, Collège des médecins du Québec, Fédération des médecins résidents du Québec and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

SOURCE: National Steering Committee on Resident Duty Hours

For further information:

Tom McMillan,
Senior Communications Specialist, Communications and External Relations
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
613-730-8177 ext. 474, 1-800-668-3740 ext. 474

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National Steering Committee on Resident Duty Hours

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