Member Gov. Submissions

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The AFMC commends the important investments to research and innovation found in the 2014 Budget and applauds the creation of the new Canada First Research Excellence Fund. Increased support for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) was also appreciated. The funding for indirect costs will help, yet these costs may continue to be a potential rate-limiting step for health research within faculties of medicine

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Having emerged from the global economic downturn, now is the time for the federal government to make strategic investments that will ensure Canada’s long-term economic sustainability. The ageing of Canada’s population is the most pressing policy imperative of our time. As highlighted in Finance Canada’s 2012 report, Economic and Fiscal Implications of Canada's Ageing Population, action to prepare for an ageing population will support the sustainability of Canada’s public finances and social programs.

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HealthCareCAN commends the government for putting Canada back in the black in terms of the projected fiscal surplus. This is necessary if we are to steer the economy in what continues to be a fragile, uneven recovery. The government is right to focus on jobs, innovation and the creation of new opportunities. To that end we are very pleased that the federal government has identified the health and related life sciences and technologies sector as a key strategic area that warrants additional focus and investment.

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The Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology was accepting submissions in preparation for the Health Accord 2014. Dietitians of Canada called for action in three areas: increased investment in health promotion and non-communicable disease prevention including access to healthy food, coordinated interprofessional health services, and sufficient labour supply and access to dietitians.

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The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) thanks the Standing Committee for its invitation to join in its review and discussions of Canada’s health needs, services and supports. The CPA is Canada’s largest national professional association of psychologists dedicated to the science, practice and education of psychology in the service of our membership and the public good. There are approximately 18,000 regulated practitioners of psychology in Canada making psychologists the country’s largest group of regulated, specialized mental health care providers.

In this brief, we offer our perspective on the implementation of the 2004 Accord. We further focus on the role of psychological factors in health and well-being, the impact of psychological factors on illness, and the costs and needs related to Canada’s mental health.

CPA’s Recommendations to the Standing Committee for Canada’s Health

#1: CPA joins other partners and stakeholders in urging the Federal government to target transfers to the provinces and territories for mental health and that the funds spent on mental health, mental disorders and addictions are proportionate to the burden of illness in Canada. We need to join in the recognition among other countries that “there is no health without mental health”.

#2: Health promotion and illness prevention need be delivered in communities and its efforts should be upstream with a focus on children and youth

#3: Intervention when necessary for mental health and illness should be collaborative and integrated across public and private sectors. Collaboration will require the commitment of all stakeholders – inclusive of the governments, employers and insurers that fund services and supports; the institutions and agencies that deliver it; the health care professionals who provide it; and most importantly those of us who receive it. Successful collaborative practice calls on health care professionals to practice differently but also calls for the changes in principle, policy and procedure, and funding upon which collaborative practice will also depend.

#4: We need more research into:

a) the biological, psychological and social determinants of health and illness

b) the biological, psychological and social interventions that best help people live well in health and with mental and physical illness.

#5: We are calling on government and other funders to improve access to effective psychological services for mental health problems and disorders. Services and supports delivered by psychologists may be in the form of program development and evaluation, assessment and diagnosis, treatment and/or supervision of other personnel charged with treatment and service delivery.

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Balanced budgets are an important foundation to Canada’s long-term financial health, and working towards them is an important objective for this and future federal budgets. At the same time, CASLPA believes that every tax dollar spent by government is an investment which, when targeted properly, pays long-term dividends. It is thus important that efforts to reduce spending to balance the federal budget not come at the expense of programs that are essential to Canada’s social safety network. Such investments in Canadians must be spent wisely, and their effect must reach as far as possible. But, by spending smarter, government can achieve larger social goals without increasing financial obligations. Indeed, in some cases, smart spending saves the government money in the long run.

This submission addresses an area of health policy – the early identification of speech, language and hearing disorders in infants and children. Studies universally find that the earlier these disorders are identified and treated, the better the longterm outcome for the affected children and their families. There are also significant cost advantages for the healthcare, education and social/justice systems in identifying and acting on these problems before the impact becomes severe.

This submission makes the following recommendations:

Recommendation 1: CASLPA recommends that Budget 2012 include a national program that ensures universal access to newborn hearing screening.

Recommendation 2: CASLPA recommends that Budget 2012 include programs to facilitate the early identification and intervention of speech-language and hearing disorders in young children.

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The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) believes that a productive population is the backbone of a prosperous nation. CNA also knows that a healthy population means a healthy workforce.

CNA agrees with the Health Council of Canada that our future success as a nation of healthy and productive citizens depends on all governments working together in the interest of Canadians.

CNA believes that Canada’s health-care systems need an accountability framework, so that Canadians can be sure of getting the best value from every dollar in health-care spending. This transformation needs involvement at the federal level through targeted policies and fiscal intervention.

By way of this submission, CNA is calling on the federal government to demonstrate leadership in advancing the health transformation and quality agendas. CNA’s recommendations support the need for an accountability framework to address key health systems challenges and optimize health outcomes for Canadians. They are categorized according to the following three priorities:

  1. ensuring capacity of the health systems by stabilizing and securing Canada’s health human resources
  2. optimizing efficiency and access across Canada’s health systems by strengthening community-based services
  3. strengthening public accountability across health-care systems by establishing quality indicators

CNA recommendations

As an essential element of Canada’s Health Accountability Plan, CNA calls on the federal government to do three things:

  1. Lead the creation of a national unique identifier (NUI) for all Canadian health professionals.
  2. Coordinate strategic priorities across national agencies to advance community-based health services such as primary care, ambulatory care and home care through research, innovation and knowledge translation.
  3. Coordinate the creation of a comprehensive set of pan-Canadian health system indicators that demonstrate quality improvement across the continuum of care.

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The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) provides a national voice on issues important to the over 12,000 occupational therapists in Canada. The Association assists occupational therapists achieve excellence in their professional practice and provides national leadership to actively develop and promote the client-centred profession of occupational therapy in Canada and internationally.

Bearing in mind the current fiscal situation of the federal government, CAOT wishes to make three recommendations to address a key area that impacts the Canadian economy - the upward spiral of health system costs.

Recommendation #1: CAOT asks that the federal government prioritize health promotion and disease prevention in its health policy for the well-being of Canadians, ensuring the best value for every health dollar spent.

Recommendation #2: CAOT asks the federal government to develop, implement and disseminate a National Activity Guide for Occupation, Health & Well-being.

Recommendation #3: CAOT asks that the federal government provide funding for the participation of Internationally Educated Health Professionals in bridging programs.

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On March 29, 2011, the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) wrote to Prime Minister Stephen Harper about the shortage of generic prescription medicines in Canada.

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The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA) is a national non-profit association, representing the collective voice of over 16,500 dental hygienists. CDHA advocates on key oral health issues, including a greater strategic role for the federal government in oral health, to achieve the world’s best oral health. Oral health is essential for overall wellness and it is an integral part of physical, social, and mental wellbeing. Poor oral health can interfere with an individual’s ability to be productive and to contribute to a growing economy as well as to Canada’s economic recovery. We call on the federal government to implement the following two recommendations.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. FNIHB increase the investment in oral health promotion and disease prevention through the following three program modifications:

  • Expand provider status to dental hygienists across Canada.
  • Implement equitable reimbursement rates for dental hygiene services.
  • Expand oral health promotion and disease prevention through the Children’s Oral Health Initiative and the NIHB program.

2. Federal government continue its leadership to enhance federal, provincial and territorial cooperation for a strong, equitable pan Canadian public health system that meets the oral health needs of Canadians, and to support this end, designate a transfer of $10 million to the provinces each year for public health dental hygiene human resources.

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