Looking Forward: Dr's Thoughts
Election may be over but critical work lies ahead, says CMA
Ottawa - The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) welcomes the arrival of the new Liberal government as a future ally in the implementation of a national seniors strategy. "As the hype of the election winds down, the real work begins," says CMA President, Dr. Cindy Forbes. "We cannot lose momentum as we continue to push for federal leadership in the development of a national's senior's strategy."
The election campaign saw one of the most successful advocacy efforts ever conducted by the CMA to make seniors care a key political issue.
The CMA created a website, www.DemandAPlan.ca, which invited Canadians to show their support for the CMA's call for a comprehensive seniors care plan from Canada's political parties. The website also provided a "promise tracker" tool where visitors could compare the policy statements of the different parties.
"Thanks to a concerted effort on the part of the CMA and the over 28,000 Canadians who joined our 'Demand A Plan' campaign, all the major parties talked about their plans for seniors in this year's election campaign, and 3 of the 4 main parties have presented detailed strategies," said Dr. Forbes.
Of the over 28,000 Canadians who signed up and took action, many shared their personal stories and put pressure on local candidates to commit to supporting better seniors care in Canada. Over 3,000 Canadians sent almost 25,000 letters to candidates across the country, asking where they stand on a national seniors strategy.
"In the swing ridings targeted by the CMA, over 90 per cent returned an MP whose party had a comprehensive seniors plan. Now Canadians expect this new government to honour its commitments on seniors care," said Dr. Forbes.
The CMA will continue to advocate for a seniors strategy and lobby the new government and the provinces to schedule a meeting to discuss the issue.
In the election campaign, Trudeau pledged to keep a focus on health care issues such as wait times, the affordability of prescription drugs, availability of home care and community-based services, and coping with the aging population.
Trudeau also stated that his government would negotiate a new Health Accord with the provinces and territories.
"The CMA is eager to work alongside the Liberal government as we embark on this new reality." said Dr. Forbes. "Canadians are looking for true leadership and collaboration to ensure that their health care system will be able to meet their needs now and into the future," said Forbes.
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, the CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing more than 80,000 of Canada's physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 60 national medical organizations. CMA's mission is helping physicians care for patients. The CMA will be the leader in engaging and serving physicians and be the national voice for the highest standards for health and health care.