The new president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) mentioned Wednesday he fears the nation’s fragile health-care system will deteriorate additional with out an injection of money — and a plan to extend the quantity of docs and different well being care professionals.
Dr. Alika Lafontaine, an anesthesiologist in Grande Prairie, Alta., and the group’s first Indigenous president, informed CBC News that Canada’s well being care is in “dire” straits, with high quality care severely restricted in some elements of the nation.
He pointed to current emergency room closures in Ottawa, southwestern Ontario, Quebec and different locales and eye-popping ER wait times in major cities like Toronto and Montreal as horrible precedents undermining the longstanding Canadian promise of well timed entry to look after all who want it.
“We’ve been saying for a while that we’re concerned about collapse. And in some places, collapse has already happened,” Lafontaine mentioned.
“All of these things are not normal things for Canadians to experience so we are at a critical point right now. If you can’t access services, that literally does mean collapse.”
Doctors on the frontlines are at a breaking level and have been for the higher half of two-and-a-half years, he mentioned.
“We’re all trained to deal with acuity. We’re all trained to deal with critical situations. But what’s happening now goes far beyond anything we’ve experienced before,” Lafontaine mentioned.
Lafontaine’s feedback got here after the CMA launched a new report Thursday warning that all provincial and territorial methods are grappling with comparable issues — particularly staffing.
The downside is basically one of human sources, he mentioned, and there usually are not sufficient docs and nurses accessible to workers present amenities, not to mention serve a rising inhabitants.
One of Lafontaine’s proposed options is to introduce what he calls “pan-national licensure,” which might permit physicians to work throughout the nation with fewer regulatory burdens.
This kind of portability would give docs extra flexibility to practise the place they’re wanted most. It may additionally make it simpler for foreign-trained docs to maneuver about the nation.
He mentioned the present system — wherein every province has its personal licensing system — is a barrier.
A nationwide ‘human sources plan’ for well being care
A nationwide doctor licence may present a single, streamlined course of for verifying the credentials of internationally educated docs, he mentioned.
“We need to rethink the idea that we can carry on with 13 separate health systems that don’t collaborate with each other at a really deep level,” he mentioned.
He mentioned the federal authorities should convene a assembly with provincial and territorial governments to develop some kind of “health human resources plan” to deal with staffing gaps and different urgent points.
Beyond enjoying some kind of coordinating position, Lafontaine mentioned, Ottawa must also pump more cash into the system.
“We definitely do need more resources in the system to move forward. But what’s important is where those resources go,” he mentioned, including previous federal efforts to particularly earmark cash for psychological well being or homecare for the aged have been profitable.
Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos has prompt more cash will movement to provincial coffers in the coming months — however he has mentioned it will not be a clean cheque.
Duclos already has laid out Ottawa’s high 5 priorities for brand new health-care spending: an finish to service backlogs, a rise in the quantity of health-care staff, improved entry to main care, a higher system of long-term care and residential look after seniors, extra sources for psychological well being and substance abuse, and a renewed push to digitize well being knowledge and facilitate extra digital care.
The challenge of cumbersome licensing for docs educated exterior the nation has come to a head not too long ago in a number of provinces.
Last month, Ontario Health Minister Sylvia Jones directed the province’s regulatory faculties to develop plans to extra shortly register internationally educated docs and nurses.
Other provinces, together with Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, are working to streamline their procedures as they welcome Ukrainian docs fleeing the battle of their nation.