Associations representing Canada’s doctors, nurses and other health care providers are calling on governments to work together to address the health care crisis affecting people across the country.
The Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Nurses Association and HealthCareCAN, an association representing healthcare organizations and hospitals, released a list of actions governments should take to fix the country’s healthcare system.
The list of ‘prescriptions for hope’ released Friday includes creating a pan-Canadian licensing model to allow doctors to practice anywhere in the country, strengthening mental health and wellness supports for health workers, helping foreign-trained health professionals get licensed to fill vacancies, and introducing a national workforce planning strategy.
Canadian Medical Association President Alika Lafontaine said health care systems across the country face similar challenges and governments should work together to address those challenges.
“Canadians are starting to wonder if their healthcare systems will be there when they need them,” Lafontaine said.
“Healthcare workers and patients are united in calling on governments to take the necessary steps to stabilize and rebuild our healthcare systems to ensure their survival.
Canadian Nurses Association President Sylvain Brousseau says nursing shortages and other workforce issues are having a serious impact on the health care system and the government should act urgently and introduce structural reforms before people lose faith in the system.
“Canada’s health care system is failing people in Canada and it’s no longer working as it should,” Brousseau said.
“People quickly lose confidence and fear that they won’t be able to access essential health services when they need them.
The calls from the associations come ahead of a meeting of Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial health ministers in Vancouver next week.
The meeting comes at a time when the health system is facing unprecedented challenges with emergency department closures and staffing shortages reported across the country.
—Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press
Federal Health Policy