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Doctors Applaud Focus on Medicare, Urge Commitment to Equity

NIAGARA FALLS – Canadian doctors have applauded the Canadian Medical Association’s affirmation of the principle of universal access to health care regardless of ability to pay, but urge the CMA to ensure that future reform proposals are firmly based on the principle of equity.

Canadian Doctors for Medicare says it is encouraged that the CMA has acknowledged that the principles of the Canada Health Act have the ‘unwavering’ support of the Canadian public, and that health care reforms should be made “in a manner consistent with the spirit and principles that have guided Medicare from the beginning.”

“This approach to health care policy by the CMA is certainly constructive,” says Dr. Danielle Martin, Chair of Canadian Doctors for Medicare, “but some of the recommendations in its report raise concerns. Policies like ‘Activity Based Funding’ and ‘Pay for Performance’ can have different impacts depending on how they are implemented, and the CMA needs to be clear about its commitment to the principle of equity, which is the cornerstone of the Canada Health Act.”

“Doctors agree that simply maintaining the status quo is not acceptable,” says Dr. Robert Woollard, Vice Chair of Canadian Doctors. “Canadians deserve a health care system that continually gets better. But the guiding principle that drives that change has to be equity – the right of every Canadian to the health care they need, regardless of income.”

Canadian Doctors for Medicare’s assessment of the CMA’s health care transformation paper examines some of the CMA’s main proposals and offers suggestions to Canadian physicians about how they can work together to help reform the health care system so that it benefits all Canadians.

“The Canadian public and our patients will be glad to hear that the doctors of Canada have re-committed themselves to fixing our health care system,” says Dr. Woollard. “Let’s just make sure we remain true to the values that underpin it.”

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Canadian Doctors for Medicare’s assessment of the CMA Health Care Transformation paper is available at www.canadiandoctorsformedicare.ca.

For more information about this document, please contact Sean Meagher, Executive Director of Canadian Doctors for Medicare, at (416) 820-7889.