Statement from the Canadian Medical Association on the 2013 Speech from the Throne

Dr. Chris Simpson, Canadian Medical Association President-Elect

OTTAWA, Oct. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - While the Canadian Medical Association does not dismiss the importance of consumer protection measures, today's Throne Speech prompts Canada's doctors to ask where is the federal vision to protect the most important consumer of all - the patient.

Canadians need to know how their federal government will work with Canada's provinces and territories to put patients first. Further, Canadian patients and their families deserve to know what kind of health care they can expect. A vision statement on where Canada is headed on health and health care would have made today's Throne Speech far more valuable for Canadians.

Today's speech did contain promising mentions of initiatives to improve injury prevention, something that is very important to physicians who care and treat those who experience these traumatic events. The CMA is also pleased to see the government commit to build on its caregiver tax credit to help Canadians caring for older family members and to help seniors quickly access information about programs and services they need and use in their communities.

In terms of supporting our aging population, these promises are reassuring, as is the commitment to renew investment in research to tackle the growing onset of dementia, and related illnesses.

However, the evolving and growing needs of Canada's aging population require that the federal government work with provinces and territories to develop a comprehensive, pan-Canadian seniors care strategy, an important step toward meeting those needs.

The federal government is the fifth largest funder of health services in Canada, responsible for ensuring care for members of the military, First Nations, Inuit and others.  Health care transformation cannot be accomplished without the leadership of the federal government. Recent polls show Canadians are looking for a bold, new vision for our country. Our federal government must seize the moment to build that vision for health care.

SOURCE: Canadian Medical Association

For further information:

Lucie Boileau
Senior Advisor, Communications and Public Outreach
800-663-7336 / 613-731-8610, ext.1266
Cell. : 613-447-0866

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