Health Gone Missing?

    OTTAWA, Feb. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadian Medical Association President
Dr. Brian Day says that today's federal budget was a missed opportunity to
invest in a number of key, top-of-mind issues for Canadians. Access to quality
health care - particularly the growing shortage of physicians has gone missing
from federal priorities.
    "Budget day is a time for numbers. Well, almost 5 million Canadians do
not have a family doctor. That's a staggering amount and it's a problem that
government must start to address," said Dr. Day. "Canada would need
26,000 more doctors just to get the average in countries like Britain, the
U.S., and Australia."
    To draw attention to this growing crisis in Canadian health care, the CMA
has launched a national advocacy campaign called "More Doctors. More Care." It
calls for strategic, modest investments in three key areas - health human
resource planning, expanding medical education capacity, and improving
technology. Further details on the campaign and the doctor shortage can be
found at
    "No Canadian who needs medical attention should face the added worry of
wondering whether they'll be able to find a doctor," said Day. "The physicians
of Canada and our patients need to see renewed federal leadership to improve
Canadians' access to health care services. Our patients not only expect it,
they deserve it."
    The CMA will continue to speak up for Canadians and press for renewed
federal leadership in addressing the challenges facing the health care system.
In that regard, Canada's physicians were heartened to see federal investment
in the Mental Health Commission of Canada. CMA also applauds the adoption by
the government of the CMA proposal to immediately accelerate the federal Gas
Tax Fund transfers to $2 billion in support of municipal transit
infrastructure projects to improve air quality.
    "These are positive steps toward improving the health of many Canadians,"
concluded Dr. Day. "But much more work needs to be done and Canada needs many
more doctors to do it."

For further information:

For further information: Lucie Boileau, Media Relations Manager, (800)
663-7336, (613) 731-8610 ext. 1266

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