Seniors and their family members along with local health professionals and institutional leaders identified the challenges seniors face in accessing the health care services they need for healthy aging at a constituency roundtable organized by Andrew Leslie, Member of Parliament for the riding of Orléans and the Canadian Medical Association.
The event held at the Saint-Louis Residence was organized in order to hear from constituents about how the government can improve access to seniors care in advance of the upcoming federal-provincial health accord, including home care service, long-term care, and the availability of palliative care.
“We heard from a wide array of constituents about the current obstacles and future challenges of obtaining adequate seniors care,’’ Mr. Leslie said. “Personally, I learned that our government needs to be thinking hard about how to adapt our national health care to its future challenges, especially with so many baby boomers approaching their golden years.”
“Ontario’s seniors make vital contributions to our communities, and giving seniors the care they need and deserve, is a priority for our government,” said MPP Lalonde. “As the needs of our aging population change, our policies and programs must also change so our seniors can enjoy safe, active, and healthy lives.“
“The Canadian Medical Association believes a new health accord between the federal government and provinces and territories, with special emphasis on our seniors, is the best opportunity we have to improve standards of care and ensure our dollars are invested in real change for our health care system,” said Dr. Cindy Forbes, CMA president. “That work can, and must, begin right now.”
“At Bruyère, we are always looking at innovative strategies to enhance care for seniors, and are keenly aware of the need for improved coordination and collaboration as these patients access services across the health care continuum.” said Dr. Véronique French Merkley, medical chief, Department of Care of the Elderly. Dr. John Joanisse, medical director Saint Louis Residence, also added that “we also need affordable and supportive housing which is currently a huge gap across Canada – and a good example of this is the Bruyère Village. There are many people who could be living in supported communities but they need to be affordable.”
- In Budget 2016, the Canada Health Transfer was increased to $36.1 billion.
- The federal government committed to engaging with provinces and territories on the development of a new health accord, including a new long-term agreement on funding, to:
- support the delivery of more and better home care services, including palliative care (in line with the Liberal platform commitment to invest $3B over 4 years for home care) ;
- advance pan-Canadian collaboration on health innovation, including the adoption of new digital health technology;
- improve the affordability of, and access to, necessary prescription medications;
- make high quality mental health services more available to Canadians who need them.
- At the January Federal/Provincial/Territorial Health Ministers’ Meeting, Ministers of Health agreed to move ahead with work on these priorities.