Health Accord conversation should focus on key strategies, not just dollars

TORONTO (DECEMBER 19, 2016) - As Federal, provincial, and territorial leaders debate a new multi-year Canada Health Accord, doctors are concerned that the conversation has focused more on money than on the key strategies that will mean better health for Canadians.

"Federal, provincial, and territorial governments have shared responsibilities in the financing and delivery of comprehensive and universally available health care services to everyone in Canada," said Dr. Monika Dutt, chair of Canadian Doctors for Medicare. "That partnership should not be a tug of war over dollars but a strategic collaboration to enhance health."

Today, Canadian Doctors for Medicare encouraged leaders to negotiate a new Canada Health Accord that ensures health transfer payments allow for certainty in relation to health care budgets and reflect the demographic needs of provinces. But Doctors also urged governments to focus on the real levers of change in health care, including the following:

- Recognizing that one in five families are unable to take prescribed medication due to cost, and that a universal public pharmacare plan would both expand access to needed medications while savings billions in health care spending;

- Primary care reform can reduce fragmentation in our health care system and improve efficiency;

- Health care in indigenous communities needs drastic improvement as outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission;

- Investments in mental health care, home and community care, public health, and other “upstream” solutions are necessary to improve health outcomes.

"How we spend the money we have matters," Dr. Dutt added. "It will be a missed opportunity if our leaders don't seriously consider the reform strategies that get the best bang for the buck."

Canadian Doctors for Medicare provides a voice for Canadian doctors who want to strengthen and improve Canada's universal publicly-funded health care system. We advocate for innovations in treatment and prevention services that are evidence-based and improve access, quality, equity, and sustainability.

Please find Canadian Doctors for Medicare's full policy statement on the Health Accord here.

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For more information, please contact:

Sean Meagher

Executive Director

Canadian Doctors for Medicare

416.820.7889 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.