OTTAWA, Oct. 26, 2017 /CNW/ - Today marked a key milestone towards the creation of a pan-Canadian seniors plan that will improve access to health care for all. CMA President Dr. Laurent Marcoux presented 15 recommendations to the House of Commons' Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. The Committee is currently studying how Canada can better prepare for the diverse and growing seniors population of tomorrow, an issue that has been a priority for physicians and their patients for nearly a decade.
While Canadians are living longer, healthier lives than ever before, the pressures on the country's health care system continue to increase. The number of seniors that will need help in the next 30 years is expected to double.
The CMA's submission, Advancing Quality of Life and Quality of Care for Seniors, outlines comprehensive recommendations for how seniors can remain active, engaged citizens in our communities. The recommendations include:
- Capital investment in residential care infrastructure, including retrofit and renovation, as well as explicit operating principles for home care funding that has been negotiated with the provinces and territories to recognize funding for caregivers and respite care;
- Targeted funding to support the development of a pan-Canadian seniors strategy to address the needs of the aging population as well as a pharmaceutical strategy that addresses both comprehensive coverage of essential medicines and programs to encourage optimal prescribing and drug therapy;
- Increased collaboration between governments in various departments as well as private insurers to develop a framework for the funding and delivery of accessible and sustainable home and long-term care services;
- Support for ongoing research to identify best practices in the care of seniors, and monitoring of the impact of various interventions on health outcomes and costs;
- Programs to promote physical activity, nutrition, injury prevention and mental health among older Canadians as well as meaningful employment opportunities for seniors who desire them.
The CMA believes that improving seniors care will help reduce hospital costs and wait times significantly across the country. More than 52,000 Canadians have lent their support to the CMA's efforts by signing on to www.demandaplan.ca, and have sent over 100,000 letters to their local Member of Parliament.
Quote from Dr. Laurent Marcoux, CMA president:
Our recommendations are a roadmap for the health care system of the future. The time is now to act and drive the changes that will help build an efficient, effective and equitable health care system to meet the needs of our seniors and – ultimately – all Canadians.
The CMA commends the federal government, especially Nickel Belt Member of Parliament Marc Serré, for acting on the pressing needs of Canada's seniors. The steps taken to better understand this urgent priority could make a difference in tomorrow's health care for all Canadians.
The Canadian Medical Association unites 85,000 physicians on national health and medical matters. Formed in Quebec City in 1867, the CMA's rich history of advocacy led to some of Canada's most important health policy changes. As we look to the future, the CMA will focus on advocating for a healthy population and a vibrant profession.
SOURCE Canadian Medical Association
For further information: To schedule an interview or for further information, please contact: CMA Media Relations: MediaInquiries@cma.ca, 613-806-1865