Canadian Doctors for Medicare Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology - November 2011

A Strong Federal Role in Improving Canada’s Health Care System

Canadian Doctors for Medicare Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, 2011 Statutory review of the 2004 10-Year Plan to Strengthen Health Care in Canada

Canadian Doctors for Medicare has the unique perspective of health professionals who have direct experience with the implementation of the 2003-2004 Health Accords. Although some progress has been made, we need to ensure that we continue progress through a new Accord in 2014. The 2014 Accord must advance an agenda of continued improvement while adhering to the principles of the Canada Health Act, working to ensure that any reforms support a universal public Medicare system. 

An important part of reform begins with strong, accountable federal leadership to enforce standards across the country. This requires enforcement of the Canada Health Act, which has been sorely lacking in recent years. 

Systematic improvements and innovation will be key to improving our health care system. It’s also time to take a hard look at what isn’t working. This will require a joint jurisdictional commitment to positive reform. There are many examples of excellent innovations here in Canada, within our current health care system. If these innovations are shared, scaled up and replicated, they can offer significant potential improvements. Similarly, there are many examples of initiatives that have been shown not to work, and to undermine the very objectives that they purport to serve. A commitment to reform should include a commitment to abandon failed strategies and focus on those with real promise. 

There is much that can be done, both by our political leaders, and our health professionals, to work towards a better public health care system for all Canadians.

To read the full report, click here.

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