Take action for specialty care this federal election

Andrew Padmos
September 16, 2019 | Author: Dr. Andrew Padmos

Many of you told us via our Member Value Survey that you would like the Royal College to advocate for you with the government and public, as well as advocate on behalf of specialties and specialty medicine. In fact, representing member interests via advocacy and awareness was second only to our core work in setting standards in terms of where members (who responded to the survey) would allocate the organization’s time, effort and resources. The 2019 Federal Election is a welcome opportunity to respond to this feedback from Fellows.

We have spent the summer preparing materials and planning outreach to engage with the federal political parties this fall to advance four issues of particular importance:

  • technological barriers to specialist care,
  • national pharmacare,
  • Indigenous health, and
  • sustainable and diverse health research workforce.

We hope you will join in our efforts to call these issues to the attention of Canada’s political parties. Our 2019 federal election advocacy tool kit makes it fast and simple for Fellows to tell candidates in their ridings about these important issues.

Explore our political advocacy tool kit.

Below I have outlined these four priority areas in more detail, including why federal investments of time and resources are critical to improving the future of health care in this country.

Election Day is Monday, October 21, 2019.

Four priority areas for federal action

Action 1: Invest in high-speed internet to improve access to health care in every part of Canada

All parties must commit to investing a minimum of $5 billion over the next 10 years to build a connected country. Communications technology, especially for those in rural and remote communities, can improve access to specialty care through telemedicine, e-Consultation, e-Referral and fully deployed electronic health records.

Action 2: Implement national pharmacare so no one in Canada goes without the treatment they need because of cost

All parties must commit to a comprehensive, single-payer system for national pharmacare. No person in Canada should go without medical treatment because of cost. Research by the National Pharmacare Advisory Council and Parliamentary Budget Officer shows that national pharmacare is a viable, cost-effective, high impact way to improve health, particularly for underserved populations. The development and implementation of a national pharmacare strategy requires input from a range of stakeholders, including physicians, surgeons, patients, care partners and decision-makers.

Action 3: Advance reconciliation by acting on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action

All parties must commit to investing $400,000 over two years to engage Indigenous leaders and other key stakeholders in laying the groundwork for Indigenous health, as part of the education of every specialist doctor in training. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada called on the country to “provide cultural competency training for all healthcare professionals.” Guided by Indigenous leaders and in partnership with medical educators, the Royal College is responding to this call but federal support (e.g. financial, advisory, program development, etc.) is needed to make cultural safety a defining characteristic of tomorrow’s health care system.

Action 4: Support a sustainable and diverse health research workforce in Canada

Basic, applied and systems-level research are critical to the development and enhancement of health, health care and the health care system. Research is also a strong economic driver, leading to the creation of high-quality jobs and investment in communities. All parties must commit to fostering diversity and ensuring that there are viable career pathways for health researchers in Canada. Particular attention must be given to supporting health researchers among Indigenous people, minority groups and other disadvantaged populations. This will lead to more creative, innovative, sustainable and equitable health research, to improve the health of all people in Canada.

Link to our political advocacy tool kit

The Royal College’s advocacy efforts are led by provisions in our Royal College Advocacy Guidebook. It sets out the organization’s role in advocacy and provides guidance on issue selection, advocacy approach and governance of advocacy efforts.




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