QUEBEC CITY, Oct. 7, 2015 /CNW/ - The next federal government has to make seniors care a priority: that's the main takeaway from a roundtable held in Quebec City on Tuesday night. The event was organized by Réseau FADOQ, an association of Quebecers age 50 and over, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), and the Québec Medical Association (QMA).
Roundtable participants voiced concerns over the health care system's capacity to cope with an aging population and the specific needs of aging patients. They believe a coordinated approach is necessary to ensure patients receive the care they need in appropriate settings. Greater emphasis must also be placed on increasing the availability of home care and long-term care.
The Quebec City discussion was attended by members of the National Assembly of Québec, including representatives from the Quebec Liberal Party, the Parti Québécois, and the Coalition Avenir Québec, who shared participants' concerns on the need for a national seniors strategy.
Réseau FADOQ, the CMA and the QMA took note of participants' comments and plan to continue their advocacy efforts towards a national seniors strategy.
- Canada is struggling to adapt to a rapidly aging population. If current practices are maintained, caring for Canadians over 65 will take up 62 per cent of health budgets by 2036.
- In most hospitals, at least 15 per cent of acute care beds are occupied by patients with chronic diseases – almost always seniors – awaiting transfer to more appropriate care settings. As a result, wait times for tests and surgeries are longer and hospitals are overloaded.
- According to Quebec's public health institute (INSPQ), over a quarter of Quebec's population will be age 65 or older in 2031.
Danis Prud'homme, Executive Director, Réseau FADOQ
"We knew the population was aging, and nothing was done to mitigate the impacts. Now it's crunch time! We have to tackle the problem of seniors care head on, and we have to do it now. Unless we come up with a plan, our seniors will continue to suffer."
Dr. Pierre Harvey, CMA Board Member
"We can't just keep parking our seniors in hospital beds and relying on informal caregivers to look after them. This situation affects all of us, at every level of society. The federal election campaign is an ideal opportunity to call on the next federal government to develop a strategy to meet the needs of seniors."
Dr. Yun Jen, QMA President
"We need a concerted effort from all health stakeholders and every level of government to develop a seniors care strategy. The facts speak for themselves. It's time for decision-makers to realize just how serious this issue is, and take action as quickly as possible."
About Réseau FADOQ
The Réseau FADOQ consists of affiliate organizations. Its mission is to bring together people aged 50 and over and represent them in instances in which their rights and needs are concerned. It also organizes activities and offers programs and services that respond to their needs. The Réseau FADOQ currently has almost 415,000 members and is the largest seniors' organization in Canada.
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, the CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing more than 80,000 of Canada's physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 60 national medical organizations. CMA's mission is helping physicians care for patients. The CMA will be the leader in engaging and serving physicians and be the national voice for the highest standards for health and health care.
The QMA comprises some 10,000 general practitioners, specialists, residents and medical students. Its mission is to bring together members of the Québec medical community in a context that promotes reflection and action in the best interests of the health of Quebecers.
SOURCE Canadian Medical Association
For further information: Réseau FADOQ, Brigitte Roussy, Public Affairs, Communications, and Media Relations Advisor, Email: [email protected], Phone: 514-252-3017, extension 3417; Canadian Medical Association, Email: [email protected], Cellular: 613-266-6572, Office: 613-731-8610, extension 2005; Denise Pelletier, Communications Coordinator, Québec Medical Association, Phone: 514-866-0660, extension 230, Toll-free: 1-800-363-3932, Email: [email protected]