OTTAWA, May 7, 2015 /CNW/ - The defeat of Private Member's Bill C-356 Wednesday night represents a lost opportunity to make lasting progress in the serious and growing problem of dementia in Canada. We remain one of the few industrialized countries to be without a national dementia strategy.
According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, 747,000 Canadians have been diagnosed with dementia, and that number will balloon to 1.4 million by 2031.
Put forward by NDP MP Claude Gravelle, Bill C-356 would have called on the government to set up a national dementia strategy. Canada would have been able to get to work making sure the health care system has the right resources to deal with this problem before it becomes overwhelming. The CMA recognizes that Ottawa has taken welcome steps to boost research — most recently by earmarking up to $42 million over five years in the 2015 budget for Baycrest Health Sciences for the establishment of a Canadian centre for aging and brain health innovation. The federal government is also working with the Alzheimer Society to develop a community-based awareness and training program.
However, a national strategy would involve all levels of government and introduce benchmarks, standards of care, as well as time frames. It would also give other levels of government and stakeholders a forum to point out the need for resources. Instead of a series of ad hoc initiatives, a national strategy is a long-term solution for a problem that will be with us for a long time. This is why more than 300 municipalities have passed resolutions supporting the bill. We would urge all parliamentarians to find a way to get a dementia strategy back on the national agenda.
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.
SOURCE Canadian Medical Association
For further information: Dominique Jolicoeur, CMA Communications, Email: [email protected], Tel: 613-731-8610 ext. 2038, Cell: 613-809-5669