Canadians find their health care system embarrassing.
We’re way behind other countries in the number of doctors, nurses, hospital beds, imaging scanners and public funding of new medicines.
As a result, our country paid a heavy price during the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of lives lost, especially older Canadians. And we continue to pay that price as our health system struggles to keep up with post-pandemic demand.
This is unacceptable.
CARP members are frustrated with the state of Canada’s health system and believe we can and MUST do better.
According to a recent CARP survey of over 2,300 older Canadians:
- 2 in 3 (63%) believe Canada should be among the top three countries in the world when it comes to health system performance
- Nearly all (97%) believe Canadians should be able to access new medicines within 6 months of Health Canada approval
- 4 in 5 (83%) believe the federal government should increase funding to the provinces to help improve quality and timeliness of healthcare
CARP members are speaking up and demanding action:
- “Why don’t we look more to good international examples? Same old same old isn’t going to do it. We need a transformational change. Other countries do it better.”
- “My dog is getting a medication that my doctor is waiting to get for human use.”
Our premiers and the Prime Minister need to work together and “AIM HIGHER” to get our healthcare system back on track to being among the world’s best.
Here is CARP’s three-point plan to make it happen:
- Focus on results that matter to patients: Too many things in our health system put the institutions and bureaucracy ahead of results for patients. We need to change health system compensation models from today’s focus on simply providing “services” to one based on positive outcomes and convenience for patients.
- Cut unnecessary red tape: Our health system is tied up in red tape. Why can’t a doctor from Halifax practice in Vancouver? Why do we need to wait years for public funding of new drugs, when many other countries make them available to patients as soon as they are approved for safety and efficacy? Let’s cut the red tape and get patients the best quality care and treatment for our money.
- Invest wisely: To make big changes quickly, we need new targeted investments in key areas of the health system that deliver the most value. Along with investments in additional personnel and facilities, we need to spend to speed up adoption of technology to allow more remote care, home care and other ways to meet patient needs in an efficient manner without relying so much on traditional clinics and hospitals.
TAKE ACTION NOW
So how can we get our health system back on track to being among the best in the world? It starts by engaging our decision-makers.