Federal proposal on health care funding has merit, but dollars alone won’t fix what ails us
(Mississauga, ON) The Prime Minister recently announced details of a new funding proposal for health care following a meeting with Canada’s premiers.
What it means for family medicine in Canada:
- The $17.3 billion is allocated to increasing the rate of growth in the Canada Health Transfer by five per cent per year for the next five years. This new money is welcome, but by itself not enough to transform the health care system. We need to spend our dollars differently to get different results.
- An additional $25 billion over 10 years is allocated to specific “areas of shared priority”:
- Expanding access to family health services, including in rural and remote areas
- Supporting our health workers and reducing backlogs
- Improving access to quality mental health care and substance use services
- Modernizing the health care system with standardized health data and digital tools
- The four areas above have the potential to improve the practice of family medicine, and the well-being of College of Family Physicians of Canada™ (CFPC) members and their patients, but the details are important and still to be settled on. The CFPC needs to review further details about each upcoming provincial and territorial agreement before commenting on whether the commitments made today will benefit family physicians, primary care, and the health care system. Funding that doesn’t address physician burnout, or administrative burden, pays physicians differently, build primary care teams, or make effective use of virtual care tools will not yield tangible results.
The CFPC supports the proposal in principle and will continue to work with our federal partners and our provincial Chapters to ensure that these new investments reflect the foundational importance of family medicine in Canada’s health care system.
About the College of Family Physicians of CanadaThe College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) is the professional organization that represents more than 42,000 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.
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