Federal Budget 2021 misses the opportunity to strengthen primary care
(Mississauga, ON) The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) is concerned that the government’s recently released budget misses the opportunity to strengthen Canada’s primary care, as a foundational component of the post-pandemic recovery.
The CFPC applauds the investments in mental health and long-term care, as well as additional funding pledged through the one-time increase to the Canada Health Transfer to address the immediate pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government is showing strong leadership in addressing these issues; however, this leadership is also sorely needed in other areas.
The government’s election commitment of ensuring that everyone in Canada has access to a family physician or interprofessional team is a crucial one and the current budget contains no commitments to address it. The additional announced funding for the Territorial Health Investment Fund is a great example of the kind of leadership that is required across the country in order to enhance access to services that improve health outcomes and system efficiency.
The federal government missed an opportunity to invest in primary care as advocated by the CFPC and our partner organizations. The CFPC and partners released a joint position statement calling for investment into primary care, aligned with the principles of the CFPC’s Patient’s Medical Home vision for family practice.
Further investments are also required to implement a national universal pharmacare program—another commitment on which the government campaigned but has not delivered.
“Primary care will be crucial in the upcoming year as we strive to address the aftermath of the pandemic—ensuring that patients with chronic conditions are not neglected, and making sure key diagnoses are not missed” says the CFPC’s Executive Director and CEO, Francine Lemire, MD CM, CCFP, FCFP, CAE, ICD.D. “Now, more important than ever, the government has a role to play in ensuring everyone in Canada has the access to quality care they need.”
The CFPC continues to support the nationwide efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting our members in their contributions to vaccination efforts and provision of quality care in an evolving environment with a growing focus on virtual care. We look forward to collaborating with all levels of government to ensure that future planning addresses the needs of everyone living in Canada, particularly as it relates to timely access to high-quality, continuous, comprehensive patient-centred care.
About the College of Family Physicians of CanadaThe College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) is the professional organization that represents more than 40,000 members across the country. The College establishes the standards for and accredits postgraduate family medicine training in Canada’s 17 medical schools. It reviews and certifies continuing professional development programs and materials that enable family physicians to meet certification and licensing requirements. The CFPC provides high-quality services, supports family medicine teaching and research, and advocates on behalf of the specialty of family medicine, family physicians, and the patients they serve.
Manager, Communication Services
College of Family Physicians of Canada
905-629-0900 ext. 432