TORONTO, Aug. 15, 2021 /CNW/ – “In the midst of the largest public health crisis of our generation, the Governor General of Canada has dissolved parliament and called for a general election, providing a timely opportunity for each of the political parties to commit to strengthening Canada’s healthcare system by increasing federal health transfers to the provinces.
The hospital sector has been the anchor of the COVID-19 response in Ontario, delivering life-saving intensive care while additionally opening assessment units, conducting lab testing, deploying staff to assist in long-term care, and working closely with health system partners to administer vaccines. Now, with a fourth wave underway, the monumental challenge for hospitals will be managing growing occupancy levels and protecting surge capacity while at the same time maintaining access to vital elective services and procedures that have been delayed for more than one year.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and reinforced the significant challenges of operating a healthcare system with longstanding gaps. Canada’s population is aging and growing, and there are too many patients having to wait far too long in hospitals for a more appropriate level of care, including long-term care or home care. Now, more than ever, Canadians need to know that the healthcare system will be there for them when they need it most.
With an election date in place and campaigning officially underway, it’s time for a national discussion on what’s needed to strengthen and sustain health care. The Canada Health Transfer is a vital source of funding for health services across Canada. Funding increases are urgently needed to strengthen access to and quality of long-term care and home care, particularly for our frail elderly population.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also shown that the need for investment in health research in Canada has never been greater. While the Government of Canada responded with funding enhancements over the past year, a cohesive, national funding strategy could help better-support research and innovation and spur greater commercialization of research in Canada.
The pandemic has reminded Canadians what can be done when there is a sense of true crisis and urgency. It’s time to build on that momentum and begin to fundamentally rethink the organization of Canada’s healthcare system.”
– Anthony Dale, President and CEO, Ontario Hospital Association
SOURCE Ontario Hospital Association