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Canadians hungry for new vision for health care: Dr. Forbes

CMA President Dr. Cindy Forbes is pressing policy-makers to improve system capacity and infrastructure and include more options for care in the community as the best ways to get people out of expensive hospital beds and increase access to more appropriate and efficient health care.

In a recent speech to the Canadian Club of Ottawa, Dr. Forbes addressed critical issues such as end-of-life care, seniors care and a new Health Accord — all of which will have a significant impact on physicians and their patients in the months and years to come.

“I’m pleased to say that the arrival of our new federal government has brought with it an appetite for change, a focus on health as a key issue that matters and a sense of engagement and collaboration between our governments across the country,” Dr. Forbes told attendees. “The simple fact is that patients are hurting because of an outmoded system. We know the realities of our current demographics – there’s no excuse not to make a change.”

Citing examples from her own practice — from patients unable to afford their prescription medication, to family members struggling to provide care to aging loved ones — Dr. Forbes highlighted the different and growing needs of today’s patients.

As the new federal government moves forward in defining their new vision for health care, in particular through the development of a new Health Accord, Dr. Forbes shared several of the CMA’s recommendations for how to address our country’s current health challenges.

Suggested areas for innovation include providing additional funding to the provinces and territories to support seniors care by means of a demographic-based top-up to the Canada Health Transfer; expanding public system capacity and infrastructure to include more options for continuing care in the community; and improving access to prescription medicine.

“I believe that politicians, physicians and the public can build on this momentum to create positive change,” said Dr. Forbes. “I have great confidence that we will not only successfully adapt to the many changes we will face – but we will embrace them.”

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