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Review of pandemic response welcomed, but immediate focus must be on current system failures: CMA

CMA News - Fri, 09/23/2022 - 05:00

While the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) agrees with Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos that a broad review of Canada’s COVID-19 pandemic response is important, the organization urges the government to put immediate focus and attention on stabilizing and rebuilding the country’s health care system. 

“Our health systems are unable to care for Canadians today,” says Dr. Alika Lafontaine, president of the CMA. “Learning from the past is incredibly important, but that must come after we deal with the collective crises facing our 13 provincial and territorial health systems. Delaying immediate action to mitigate today’s crises means they continue to accelerate and worsen. We must remember that the burden of crises is shouldered by patients and providers in the health system; delaying action is unacceptable.” 

A CMA-commissioned report released this week highlighted common ground where provincial/territorial and federal governments can work together to address the fundamental issues affecting the system overall. In response to the issues identified in this report, the CMA strongly recommends: 

  • increase the Canada Health Transfer to better support provincial/territorial health systems,
  • establish a pan-Canadian licensure model to enable physician mobility,
  • scale up collaborative primary care to foster greater collaboration among health workers and improve access to care for patients,
  • create a national health human resources strategy to plan for recruitment and retention of health workers.

"The solutions to our health care crisis do not live in the silos that we’ve created across 13 provincial/territorial jurisdictions,” says Dr. Lafontaine. “It is time to start working together to break down those barriers, act on solutions and optimize our health system. We are at an important crossroad and we need the political will to do the work.” 
 

Categories: Medical News

In-depth analysis of health budgets finds common ground; CMA calls for governments to come together to rebuild health care

CMA News - Wed, 09/21/2022 - 05:00

While governments continue to debate how to fund health care in Canada, an in-depth analysis of federal, provincial and territorial budgets illustrates that there are areas of common interest that could serve as a starting point to rebuilding health systems in Canada.

The analysis shows that all 13 provinces and territories are prioritizing health care, budgeting an average increase of 4.4% in health spending, five times higher than the overall average budget increase. Prepared by Deloitte for the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), the report also found that governments across Canada have prioritized funding and resources in common areas such as mental health, increasing system capacity and care for older adults. The report, Measures to Address Health System Challenges: Review of Canadian, Provincial and Territorial 2022 Budgets, highlights potential funding and reform measures related to rebuilding health care. 

“As Canadians from coast to coast to coast go without timely access to health care and exhausted providers struggle to keep up with demand, governments continue to debate who’s responsible for paying for health systems,” says Dr. Alika Lafontaine, CMA president. “What’s being lost in this discussion is that health care is about people: the people who need care and those who provide it. This new analysis shows that governments have more in common with respect to their health system goals than they may realize. We believe it’s time for the federal and provincial/territorial governments to work together to redefine health care in Canada.”

Unprecedented health crises across Canada today include overcrowded and closed emergency departments, a shortage of physicians, nurses and other health providers, collapsing primary care, and a backlog of procedures. It is in that context that the CMA is calling on the federal, provincial and territorial governments to convene an emergency meeting and to work together to create a long-term sustainable path to stabilize health systems and define a new future of health care by assessing how it should be funded and how progress and results can be measured. 

“We must use the lessons from our past to work toward a new era of intergovernmental collaboration to resolve health system issues once and for all,” adds Dr. Lafontaine. “Simply injecting more money into broken systems will not resolve the concurrent and growing crises we’re seeing. To effectively coordinate and collaborate across the 13 provincial and territorial health systems, we need to see political will. We have shared problems; we should seek shared solutions. What we decide today will not only determine the sustainability of health systems, but their very survival.”

This fall, the CMA is convening key stakeholders and the medical profession for discussions on mapping out the future of health care in Canada. Solutions are available now to address immediate and longer-term pressures within the health system. The CMA remains committed to improving the health care system and ensuring Canadians can access the care they need. 
 

Categories: Medical News

2022 Quebec elections: Prioritize health professionals

CMA News - Mon, 09/12/2022 - 05:00

With election season in full swing, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), the Fédération des médecins omnipraticiens du Québec (FMOQ) and the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec (FMSQ) are joining together to call on all parties to formally commit to restructuring the Quebec healthcare system in order to provide a healthy workplace for clinicians.

According to the latest CMA National Physician Health Survey, 60% of doctors in Quebec responded that they were experiencing burnout—that’s 7% above the national average. This statistic alone not only illustrates just how serious this issue is, it also speaks to the fact that doctors are not invincible. Just like their patients, they too often face major health challenges of their own. That’s why it’s so important for the next government to prioritize healthcare.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March 2020, Quebec’s healthcare system presented a number of challenges. Unsurprisingly, the pandemic only worsened these issues, putting greater and greater pressure on doctors and other clinicians.

Over the past two years, the healthcare system has been in the spotlight, and it is of utmost importance that it take centre stage in this election campaign. Let’s see this election for what it is: a unique opportunity for the next government to strengthen our healthcare system once and for all.

Categories: Medical News

Canadian Medical Association, The Canadian Press partner to strengthen health journalism across the country

CMA News - Tue, 09/06/2022 - 05:00

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and The Canadian Press (CP) have partnered on a new initiative to strengthen health journalism across Canada. 

Under this program, the CMA will fund the creation of three reporting positions at CP for a period of three years. These positions will focus on health and health care and tell stories on how this impacts Canadians. CP will have complete autonomy in hiring and assigning the new reporters.

“Fact-based health coverage has never mattered more, and media organizations are increasingly looking to The Canadian Press to fill this demand,” says Malcolm Kirk, CP president. “This initiative will allow us to provide a range of stories across the entire spectrum of health and health care, and how these issues intersect with the lives of Canadians.”  

“The COVID-19 pandemic illustrated how critical it is that Canadians have access to accurate, well-researched, and trusted health news reporting,” said Dr. Alika Lafontaine, CMA president. “With the rise in health misinformation and disinformation, the CMA believes in supporting strong health journalism in this country and we are thrilled at the opportunity to partner with The Canadian Press to achieve this.”

The CMA recognizes the critical role of journalism in advancing debate and policy decisions. For that reason, it is committed to contributing to the quality and the quantity of health system news and information for all Canadians. We intend to do so by contributing directly to media, developing a network of medical influencers and collaborating on other forms of media storytelling to engage Canadians on rebuilding our health system.
 

Categories: Medical News

National survey shows physician workforce in despair: CMA

CMA News - Thu, 08/25/2022 - 05:00

As emergency departments buckle under pressure due to staffing shortages and Canadians struggle to find the care they need in a timely manner, a newly released survey illustrates the despair Canadian physicians are experiencing amidst the biggest health care crisis of our times.

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has released the full results of its 2021 National Physician Health Survey. Conducted in November 2021, the survey shows a physician workforce that is struggling under the weight of an under-resourced health system and pandemic challenges.

Key findings include:

  • Nearly half of respondents (48%) screened positive for depression, up significantly since the CMA's 2017 survey (33%).
  • One-quarter (25%) of physicians and residents experience severe (10%) or moderate (15%) anxiety
  • Eight in 10 (79%) physicians and medical learners score low on professional fulfillment; less than six in 10 physicians and medical learners indicate being satisfied with their career in medicine

Preliminary results released in March showed that more than half of physicians and medical learners (53%) had experienced high levels of burnout and that nearly half of respondents (49%) were considering reducing their clinical work in the next 24 months.

"Every day, we hear physicians expressing despair at the state of our health system, the strain that all health workers are facing and the fact that our patients are suffering," says Dr. Alika Lafontaine, CMA president. "Since this survey was completed, the strain on health workers has continued to grow with no signs of a break coming. Physicians need help and support so they can continue to provide quality care to patients."

The 2021 National Physician Health Survey is available here. It illustrates the many factors impacting physician health and wellness including the pandemic, increased administrative burden, lack of work-life integration, bullying and harassment in the workplace and lack of professional fulfillment.

Between October and December 2021, more than 4,100 physicians, medical residents and medical students completed the survey, up from nearly 3,000 CMA members in 2017.

Categories: Medical News

Dr. Alika Lafontaine to lead CMA in 2022-23

CMA News - Sun, 08/21/2022 - 05:00

Toronto, August 21st, 2022 – Today, Canadian Medical Association (CMA) members and delegates attending the Annual general meeting welcomed Dr. Alika Lafontaine as the organization’s 155th President. Dr. Lafontaine becomes the first indigenous President in the organization’s history. Born and raised in Treaty 4 Territory (Southern Saskatchewan), Dr. Lafontaine has Metis, Oji-Cree and Pacific Islander ancestry.

As an anesthesiologist in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Dr. Lafontaine has been using his voice to create spaces where Indigenous communities can partner with physicians, politicians and policy-makers to improve Indigenous health care. Committed to eliminating the gap in the quality of care between Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients across Canada, Dr. Lafontaine drafted and co-led a national strategy with territorial organizations representing 150 First Nations and several national health organizations. That proposal was then submitted to the federal government on behalf of those First Nations — the Indigenous Health Alliance — to advance health care transformation.

“As I take on the role of CMA president, I want my fellow physicians to know that I see their struggles and I am deeply committed to making progress toward a better future,” says Dr. Lafontaine. “Together we will rewrite the narrative of what it means to be a physician, how to better partner with patients and team-based care. We will build a future for healthcare in Canada.”

In addition to his advocacy work, Dr. Lafontaine is a seasoned advisor who has served in medical leadership positions for almost two decades, including at the Alberta Medical Association, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, HealthCareCAN and the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada.

Dr. Ross becomes president-elect

As part of the AGM, Dr. Kathleen Ross was also confirmed as the CMA’s president-elect for 2023-24. Dr. Kathleen Ross is a Family Physician in Coquitlam and New Westminster with clinical work in community primary care, obstetrics and surgical assist work, including cardiovascular surgery, at Royal Columbian Hospital. She will start her mandate as CMA president in August 2023. 

Dr. Katharine Smart completes her presidency

Dr. Katharine Smart completes her term as CMA president after a year spent advocating for the rebuilding of the healthcare system after the pandemic accentuated existing structural issues faced by physicians and patients in Canada. “The time is now to work together towards a better healthcare system for all. Solutions exist and will take courage and will to implement. The past year has shown us all that collaboration across levels of governments and organizations is necessary to create a functional and sustainable health care system that can deliver for Canadians.”

 

Categories: Medical News

CMA to host 155th annual meeting on August 21st

CMA News - Tue, 08/02/2022 - 05:00

On August 21st, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) will host its 155th Annual General Meeting (AGM). The AGM provides an opportunity for Canadian physicians and medical learners to help shape their national association’s goals and leadership, learn about the CMA’s activities and welcome the CMA’s new president, Dr. Alika Lafontaine. 

The CMA encourages members and stakeholders to register before 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, August 16. The virtual format will include live webcasting of all proceedings.  

WHAT: The CMA’s 155th Annual General Meeting 

  • Presentation of annual report 

  • Valedictory address from 2021–2022 president Dr. Katharine Smart 

  • Inaugural address from 2022–2023 president Dr. Alika Lafontaine 

  • Question & answer session on the CMA’s work, including its new Impact 2040 strategy 

WHEN: Sunday, August 21st  from 11 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. ET  

HOW: register here: https://na.eventscloud.com/ereg/index.php?eventid=678394  

The AGM will be followed by the Nominations Committee report from 3:30 to 4 p.m. ET, where delegates can vote on the president-elect and other nominations. 
 

Members of the media are invited to register by contacting mediainquiries@cma.ca

Categories: Medical News

Information on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Providence Health News - Mon, 07/25/2022 - 10:22

Get the most up-to-date COVID-19 information and resources: COVID-19 Vancouver Coastal Health

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Categories: Medical News

CMA condemns forced and coerced sterilization

CMA News - Fri, 07/22/2022 - 05:00

In response to the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights’ report The Scars that We Carry: Forced and Coerced Sterilization of Persons in Canada – Part II, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) unequivocally denounces the practices of forced and coerced sterilization. 

As the report details, forced and coerced sterilization have a long history in Canada. Laws and government policies rooted in racism and discrimination sought to reduce births in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, Black communities, and among people with intersecting vulnerabilities relating to social and structural determinants of health, ethnicity and disability. These practices have had a disproportionate impact on equity-relevant groups and those experiencing structural vulnerabilities in Canada. The medical profession must acknowledge its role and commit to upholding its ethical obligations.  

The act of sterilization without informed and uncoerced patient consent is an absolute violation of fundamental tenets of medical ethics and the medical profession’s fundamental commitment to respect for persons, as articulated by the CMA Code of Ethics and Professionalism. The CMA supports the Senate committee’s recommendations to prohibit these practices and enhance training and regulation of medical professionals to halt these practices in the future.

Dr. Katharine Smart
CMA President

Categories: Medical News

CMA statement on Cambie Surgeries Corporation v British Columbia

CMA News - Fri, 07/15/2022 - 05:00

Ottawa, July 15, 2022 - Canadians expect and deserve timely access to health care when they need it, no matter where they live in the country or where they access care. The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is committed to the principle that all Canadians have timely access to high-quality health care regardless of their ability to pay.

The court case Cambie Surgeries Corporation v British Columbia (Attorney General) has illustrated once again the ongoing challenges the health care system has been facing, issues that the CMA and other health organizations and professionals have been raising for many years.

The health care system is in crisis. Five million Canadians do not have primary care providers. We routinely hear of emergency departments closing across Canada because of staff shortages. Surgeries are backlogged across the country. As a result, patients are suffering.

The CMA reaffirms its position that adequate public funding is required to meet the full spectrum of medically necessary health care needs for all Canadians. Increased federal and provincial/territorial health funding and collaboration will be needed to address the growing challenges and shortfalls in health care delivery. But funding alone will not address the critical systemic challenges that patients and providers face. We also need to rethink how care is delivered.

The CMA is prepared to collaborate with all governments and other stakeholders to improve the health system for the benefit of all Canadians.

Katharine Smart, MD, FRCPC
President, Canadian Medical Association

Categories: Medical News

Statement: Governments must collaborate now to fix Canada’s collapsing health care system: CMA

CMA News - Tue, 07/12/2022 - 05:00

Victoria, July 12, 2022 – The premiers’ meeting in Victoria, B.C. this week illustrated once again the critical need for federal, provincial and territorial collaboration to fix Canada’s collapsing health care system.

Five million Canadians do not have primary care providers. Emergency departments across Canada are routinely closing because of staff shortages. Physicians and other health care workers are burning out. Yes, the pandemic wreaked havoc on the health system, but the reality is that cracks were visible in the system long before COVID-19.

There has been much discussion about needing increased federal funding to support provincial and territorial health systems, and we agree that this is certainly part of solving the health system crisis. We appreciate the fact that the premiers have recognized the need for better labour mobility among health care workers, and we are eager to see action here. Much more needs to be done to address pervasive issues that have continued to push the health system to the brink of collapse.

The health care workers who have dedicated their professional lives to caring for Canadians are burning out at a rapid pace. We need to see leadership from federal, provincial and territorial governments — signs of political will, collaboration and tangible solutions to give us some hope for a brighter future for the health system we all need and deserve. We encourage the federal government to swiftly meet with the provinces and territories to resolve funding issues and develop real solutions to address systemic challenges that require immediate action.

The CMA remains ready to work with elected officials across the country to find short-, medium- and long-term solutions to this crisis. We can’t afford to wait any longer.

Katharine Smart, MD, FRCPC
President, Canadian Medical Association

 

 

Categories: Medical News

Health care groups call on premiers to make Canada's collapsing health system their top priority

CMA News - Thu, 07/07/2022 - 05:00

With health workers across Canada burned out and exhausted, surgical backlogs rampant, primary care access limited and emergency departments facing closures, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU), Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) and HealthCareCAN are calling on Canada's premiers to make health care their top priority at the Council of the Federation's 2022 Summer Meeting of Canada's Premiers in Victoria, B.C. Our health care crisis must be the priority, and an action plan is urgently required.

CMA President Dr. Katharine Smart and CFNU President Linda Silas will be in Victoria to deliver this message to Canada's premiers at their annual summer meeting, July 11-12.

Quotes:

"We know that fixing the health care system will take time but deferring any tangible action will only deepen the cracks. When a universal health system is not able to provide basic health care needs to Canadians, we must accept that it has failed and work together to fix it. This will take more than simply investing more money. It will require new solutions to old problems such enabling the mobility of health workers between jurisdictions to alleviate pressure points."

- Dr. Katharine Smart, President, CMA

"Canada's health care system is in crisis. While the pandemic certainly struck a severe blow, our health care system has been reeling from a decades-long health care worker shortage that continues to grow unabated thanks to untenable working conditions. The pandemic only added fuel to an already raging fire. The tired, ineffective, and makeshift solutions of the past no longer cut it; we need a bold and concerted effort to tackle the shortage, starting with evidence-based health human resources planning and stable funding."

- Linda Silas, President, Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions

"Canada needs to ramp up its health care system to deliver better outcomes for patients and ensure they can receive the care they need when they need it. However, that cannot be achieved if we don't strengthen and invest in our health workforce first. Retaining nurses and other health care workers is at the heart of fixing many challenges of our system. If no effective strategies are put in place to retain nurses that we have now and implement better working conditions, no other strategy will make the difference."

- Sylvain Brousseau, President, CNA

"Canada healthcare system is confronted with a difficult test, we will not be able to tackle the multi-faceted challenges faced by Canada's health system without all levels of government coming together with health leaders to define and build an inclusive, equitable and safe health system that works for all in the 21st century. Most urgent of all these challenges is the health workforce shortage, which is placing unrelenting pressure on the system and healthcare workers, and negatively impacting access to services, quality of care and health outcomes. We support the premiers' and territory leaders' calls for more funding through health transfers, however we must ensure that whatever approach is taken leads to improved health outcomes."

- Paul-Émile Cloutier, President and CEO, HealthCareCAN

About the CMA
The Canadian Medical Association is the national voice of the medical profession. Our focus is on creating strong and accessible health systems, fostering well-being and diversity in medical culture, and ensuring every person in Canada has equal opportunity to be healthy. In partnership with physicians, medical learners, patients and others, we advance these goals through advocacy, knowledge sharing and granting.

About the CFNU
The CFNU is Canada's largest nurses' organization, representing Canada's frontline nurses in every sector of health care – from home care, LTC, community and acute care, including nursing students – and advocating on key health priorities and federal engagement in the future of public health care.

About the CNA
CNA is the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing. We represent registered nurses, nurse practitioners, licensed and registered practical nurses, registered psychiatric nurses, retired nurses, and nursing students across all 13 provinces and territories.

About HealthCareCAN
HealthCareCAN is the national voice of healthcare organizations and hospitals across Canada. We foster informed and continuous, results-oriented discovery and innovation across the continuum of healthcare. Learn more at healthcarecan.ca

Categories: Medical News

Setting a new benchmark for long-term care

Providence Health News - Sat, 06/25/2022 - 00:00

A new kind of long-term care is coming to Comox and none too soon for the residents and families who are watching Providence Living Place, Together by the Sea rise on the former 14- acres site of St. Joseph’s Hospital, in Comox.

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CMA committed to truth and reconciliation, improving health outcomes of Indigenous peoples

CMA News - Tue, 06/21/2022 - 05:00

On National Indigenous Peoples Day, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) joins people across Canada in committing to continuing to learn and take concrete actions toward truth and reconciliation.

At the CMA, we’re aware of the role the medical profession has played as an instrument of colonization. We must now confront that history while building respectful relationships with Indigenous peoples and promoting inclusive health care for all.

We’re committed to working in allyship with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to develop an action plan that focuses on improving the health outcomes of Indigenous peoples. To help us achieve this goal, we’re establishing the Guiding Circle, a group of First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals with relevant expertise who will collaborate with and advise the CMA on ways we can contribute to improving the health outcomes of Indigenous peoples.

We look forward to continuing to build collaborative, constructive relationships with Indigenous peoples across Canada. And we ask all Canadians to do the same.

Katharine Smart, MD, FRCPC
President, Canadian Medical Association

Categories: Medical News

CMA’s summer checklist for Members of Parliament: Discuss health issues in your constituencies and come back prepared for the fall

CMA News - Mon, 06/20/2022 - 05:00

As Members of Parliament wrap up the spring session and head home to their respective communities, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is reminding them that Canada’s health system is in deep crisis and will not get a seasonal break. With burnout and exhaustion at record highs among health care workers and lengthy surgical and clinical backlogs plaguing the system, we can’t take a break on finding dedicated, long-term solutions to these challenges. 

The CMA is asking every Member of Parliament to use the summer months to investigate health care issues in their respective ridings so they have a better understanding of current challenges and can bring a renewed focus to the fall parliamentary session. To support this work, the CMA is offering them the following themes to explore:

  • Addressing family physician shortages: With numerous reports of family doctors leaving the profession or their practices, and burnout levels doubling through the pandemic, the list of orphan patients continues to grow from coast-to-coast-to-coast. Members of Parliament are encouraged to speak to their constituents about their challenge in finding a family doctor or accessing primary care, what their ideas are to address the issue and how the federal government could support pan-Canadian initiatives to ensure every Canadian has access to a family doctor or primary health team.
  • Fixing backlogs and wait times: Delayed care and a depleted workforce have created the perfect storm to raise backlogs and wait times to new highs. The consequences are significant for suffering patients and their families and will be felt for years to come. While health care delivery is a provincial/territorial responsibility, we ask MPs to engage their constituents to understand their health system experiences and to use these insights to inform the ongoing dialogue between the federal and provincial/territorial governments on health matters. 
  • Promoting pandemic management and public health measures: With COVID-19 still very present in our communities, Members of Parliament have an opportunity to support local public health capacity to address the pandemic. As key influencers in their respective communities, they can lead by example, embracing local public health measures and promoting the benefits of vaccines and boosters.
  • Engaging with and supporting marginalized populations: The evidence is clear – marginalized populations have suffered disproportionately throughout the pandemic. It is critical that elected officials collaborate to understand the unique circumstances and barriers to accessing health care that these populations face and find solutions to addressing these inequities.
  • Supporting health workers: A CMA survey conducted in November 2021 shows that Canadian physicians are burning out at an alarming rate, with more than 53% indicating a high level of exhaustion compared to 30% in a 2017 survey. Burnout rates are just as worrisome for nurses and other health workers. Members of Parliament are encouraged to engage with health workers to learn first-hand about the conditions in which they practise. Health workers want to be seen and heard, and their insights are key to solving the health care crisis before us. 

“While the delivery of care may be under provincial or territorial government jurisdiction, the responsibility of fixing the many problems in our health system is shared between the federal and provincial/territorial governments,” says Dr. Katharine Smart, CMA president. “Federal leadership is required, and it’s time for our MPs to take ownership in learning about and discussing the health issues that affect their ridings. Bring those issues and solutions back in the fall, so we can start addressing the issues facing our health system together.”
 

Categories: Medical News

No going backward: Canada must prepare now

CMA News - Fri, 06/10/2022 - 05:00

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated just how ill-prepared the world was for a major health crisis. The pandemic continues to have an impact in Canada and around the world. The virus remains with us, and the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) continues to encourage Canadians to get vaccinated, receive their boosters and wear a well-fitting mask especially when among at-risk populations. Canada must also do more to support international vaccination efforts against COVID-19 to reduce global inequities and the impact of future COVID-19 variants.

“As burned-out health care workers do their best to try to clear up a staggering backlog of surgeries and other delayed care, learning from the past two-plus years and preparing for the future must be a priority for governments, health authorities and society overall,” says Dr. Katharine Smart, president of the CMA. “It’s critical that governments and health stakeholders plan now to build public health capacity, enhance infectious disease surveillance and increase trust in public health. We must also continue to do our fair share globally.”

The CMA supported the Public Health Physicians of Canada’s review of the pandemic, Public Health Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic, which includes several key recommendations to bolster public health capacity in Canada.

The CMA is particularly supportive of the following recommendations that would require action from federal, provincial and territorial governments:

  • increase funding and resourcing of public health teams and organizations;
  • acknowledge and address the significant burnout among public health and health care teams; and
  • collaborate with communities to address systemic discrimination in health care and public health, including with respect to Indigenous health, with dedicated funding.

These steps, coupled with revitalizing our health workforce, are critical to ensuring Canada is prepared for future waves of COVID-19 or another virus that could threaten lives, the health system and the economy.

In addition, the CMA strongly urges the federal government to accelerate its efforts against COVID-19 on the global stage. According to Our World in Data, while approximately 65% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, only 17.8% of people in low-income countries have received one.

A new survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of the CMA* reveals that Canadians are concerned about global vaccine rates and the potential of further variants circulating as they reunite with friends and families abroad. The survey found that two thirds of Canadians worry about the potential for rising COVID-19 rates and new variants circulating domestically as a result of low vaccine rates, and 44% worry about family and friends travelling to countries with low vaccination rates.

“Canadians are telling us that the higher the global vaccination rate, the safer they will feel at home in Canada,” says Dr. Smart. "By helping other countries reach high levels of vaccination, we will protect everyone, including Canadians.”

The federal government has committed to investing more than $2.5 billion to support the global response to COVID-19, including vaccination efforts, and pledging to contribute the equivalent of at least 200 million doses to COVAX by the end of 2022. Halfway through the year, public records indicate that $1.6 billion has been invested.

The CMA is calling on the federal government to accelerate the pace of distributing vaccines globally to reduce inequities and help protect Canadians at home and abroad as the world re-opens to international travel.

Canada — and the rest of the world — cannot go unprepared and unsupported into another major public health crisis. We must act today.

* An online panel survey was conducted among a representative, nationwide sample of 2,001 Canadians aged 18 years and older. The credibility interval for a sample of this size is +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The survey was conducted between June 3 and June 7, 2022

Categories: Medical News