Saturday, December 3, 2011

Canadians want strategic approach based on common principles to improve health care

OTTAWA, December 1, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - The results of a new public opinion poll conducted for the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) show overwhelming support (85%) for inclusion of the principles developed by the Canadians Nurses Association (CNA) and the CMA in discussions around a new agreement between federal and provincial/territorial governments on health care.

The CMA and the CNA together have defined a set of principles to guide health care transformation in Canada ( To date, over 60 organizations have endorsed the principles, the goal of which is to guide the discussions that will lead up to a new health care accord between federal, provincial and territorial governments. The principles outline direction for the creation of a high quality, patient-centred health care system that is universal, equitable and sustainable.

"Governments have begun negotiations in advance of the looming end of the 2004 health accord and Canadians clearly support using the CMA/CNA principles to guide those discussions," said Dr. John Haggie, CMA President.

Further poll results show that over three-quarters (76%) of Canadians identify improving health care as the number one priority for the federal government, ahead of issues such as reducing the national debt and deficit (62%) and reducing taxes (45%). Among other findings, a strong majority (77%) of Canadians supported the creation of a national aging strategy to address the needs of our aging population through increased support for home care and long-term care services.

"We know that 80% of the disease burden in Canada right now is chronic disease management and right now our acute services-focused health care system can't adequately meet those needs because it was not designed to do provide that sort of care," said Dr. Haggie. "Transforming health care is about doing things better - better for patients; better for quality; better for the sustainability of our system."

The Ekos Research Associates survey findings are the result of a nationally representative telephone survey of 1,001 Canadians 18 years of age and older. The margin of error for a sample of this size is +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, CMA's mission is to serve and unite the physicians of Canada and be the national advocate, in partnership with the people of Canada, for the highest standards of health and health care. The CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing over 76,000 of Canada's physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 51 national medical organizations.

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