July 20, 2016 – Today, the thirteen premiers of Canada convene in Whitehorse for the meeting of the Council of the Federations. HEAL, which is a national coalition of 41 national health organizations, sent a letter to the premiers urging them to treat healthcare as a priority issue on their agenda. HEAL also sent a copy of their collaborative paper entitled The Canadian Way, which is a consensus on healthcare policy that has been reached by their 41 members on the direction in which healthcare policy needs to take in Canada.
Their consensus statement, The Canadian Way, addresses key issues including – timely access to care; our aging population, living longer with chronic disease; the health needs of diverse populations; community-based care; and the financial pressures experienced by all levels of government. HEAL’s recommendations are intended to encourage collaboration, promote accountability, measure performance, and improve effectiveness through strategic investments.
“We are concerned that the unilateral changes made by the federal government in 2011 destabilized the healthcare system, eroded trust, and increased the challenges faced by the provinces and territories to meet the changing needs of an aging and diverse population” said Michael Brennan, co-chair of HEAL. “The federal government should provide a stable proportion of funding that stands at no less than 25% of total provincial and territorial funding on health services and they should explore the concept of a Demographic Top-Up Transfer” he continued.
HEAL also stressed to the Premiers that innovation in healthcare is critical in order to make the needed breakthroughs that will improve health outcomes and reduce costs. HEAL hopes to see more productive collaboration with the Health Care Innovation working group created by the Council. Canadians from across all provinces and territories are facing the same problems with their health care system, it is clear that collaboration and a unified approach is needed.
“Some of our coalition members have worked with the Council’s Health Care Innovation Working Group and Co-Chair Brad Wall, and we would encourage the Council to continue this important dialogue, prioritize this initiative, and share the outcomes of this group with stakeholders and the public” said Ondina Love, co-chair of HEAL.
In order to make advancements in our healthcare system, the Council must work with the federal government and healthcare stakeholders. HEAL represents Canada’s healthcare stakeholders, with 650,000 direct healthcare providers, they know first-hand the issues that need to be addressed. HEAL is ready and willing to work with all levels of government to succeed in revitalizing Canada’s healthcare system. The Canadian Way makes a compelling case for a health care system based on compassion, consensus and collaboration.
HEAL is a coalition of national health organizations that represents a cross-section of health providers, health regions, institutions, and facilities. All of HEAL’s members are dedicated to protecting and strengthening Canada’s health system, and these organizations represent more than 650,000 health-care providers from across the country.
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