Royal College calls for federal investments to support stable, specialty
workforce to meet growing health demands

OTTAWA, Nov. 2 /CNW Telbec/ - The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada is calling on the federal government to make investments in human capital, research and electronic health records to support Canada's recovery from recession.

"Canada needs a stable, seamless and responsive health care system to ensure that its workers and citizens remain healthy so our economy can keep moving toward recovery," Dr. Andrew Padmos, Royal College CEO, told members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance today during pre-budget hearings.

A responsive health care system includes access to quality, diagnostic services in pathology and laboratory medicine; a focus on public health and pandemic preparedness; investments in chronic disease management; and the provision of services to address the needs of vulnerable populations, including Aboriginal Peoples.

    
    Stable, high performing and sufficient specialty medical workforce is
    needed
    

"In 2008, the Health Council of Canada warned of health workforce burnout and continued public frustration with wait times, and the Standing Committee on Health said that Canada may be on the brink of a health human resources crisis. We appeal to the federal government to honour its 2008 election commitment to invest in new residency spots in teaching hospitals, which are desperately needed," said Danielle Fréchette, Director of Health Policy and Governance Support for the Royal College.

Research is fundamental to good health

"The Royal College shares concerns with citizens and Canadians that cuts to Canada's three granting councils are compromising Canada's ability to recruit and retain leading physiicans, scholars and scientists, whose discoveries help to ensure evidence-based quality care. Research investments have tangible benefits to our economy," stated Dr. Padmos.

    
    Electronic medical records (EMR) are needed to maximize patient safety
    and service delivery efficiency.
    

"Specialty medicine is dependent on the exchange of patient data between all health practitioners. Canada lags behind other countries in the adoption of EMRs. There is need to ensure that we accelerate EMRs in order to maximize patient safety and the efficiency of our services," observed Mrs. Fréchette.

"While the economy has recently been top of mind, health care remains an urgent priority for many Canadians. Federal leadership is important to maintaining the high quality standards of patient care, to upholding equitable and timely access to health care services and ensuring patient safety," Dr. Padmos concluded.

The Royal College pre-budget brief is available at: http://rcpsc.medical.org/publicpolicy/brief_hoc_august09_e.pdf.

About the Royal College

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada is a national, not-for-profit organization of more than 42,000 members in 87 countries. The Royal College contributes to improving the health of Canadians by setting the highest standards for specialty medicine. Dedicated to lifelong learning, the organization is a trusted partner in advancing sound health and public policy.

To find out more, please visit: www.royalcollege.ca.

SOURCE Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

For further information: For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact: Karen McCarthy, Director, Communications and External Relations, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Telephone: (613) 260-4178, Cell (business and after business hours): (613) 668-6465, E-mail: kmccarthy@royalcollege.ca

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Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

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