OTTAWA, January 12, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - For Canada to rank among countries with the healthiest populations, we need a broadly shared vision of health and health care, sustained leadership by the federal government, as well as action and accountability on the parts of provincial and territorial governments, health care providers and the public.
This is the main conclusion of the report on the role of the federal government in health and health care that was commissioned by the Health Action Lobby (HEAL) - a coalition representing 34 national health organizations. HEAL is releasing the report in advance of this month's meeting of the Council of the Federation at which Canada's premiers will discuss the future of health and health care.
"This report is an important contribution to understanding the intersection of health policy issues and the potential role of the federal government" said Mr. Glenn Brimacombe, Co-Chair HEAL, and President & CEO of the Association of Canadian Academic Healthcare Organizations, "We welcome the report and HEAL looks forward to discussing its implications in the New Year".
The HEAL report "Functional Federalism and the Future of Medicare in Canada", authored by Mr. Bill Tholl and Mr. Guy Bujold, contains 15 key findings informed by a series of interviews with senior thought leaders in the health system, an on-line survey of members from HEAL and the Canadian Health Leadership Network, and a five-country international literature review (see Appendix A). It identifies a number of specific health policy issues which require effective federal and provincial and territorial government leadership. These include: chronic disease management, home care & long-term care, access and wait times, and mental health.
The report addresses a number of important overarching questions including, what is the appropriate role for the federal government as it relates to health in light of Canada's decentralized health system? What is the best way to manage the interdependence and independence of Canada's jurisdictions when it comes to reform of health care delivery? How accountabilities and authorities for health and health care renewal need to be aligned in the future?
"The future of health and health care is certainly one of, and many would say the most important public policy issue facing federal, provincial and territorial governments. This report is intended to advance the necessary thinking and discussions to address the health challenges we are facing as a nation, and to inform the design and implementation of policies and programs that best meet the evolving health and health care needs of Canadians", said Dr. Karen Cohen Co-Chair HEAL, and CEO of the Canadian Psychological Association.
The full report is available at www.healthactionlobby.ca.