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Statement from the Canadian Medical Association – Federal Government Fails Canadians by Cutting Funding of Health Council of Canada

Ottawa, April 16, 2013 – The recent decision by the Government of Canada to cut funding to the Council is a failure of its responsibility to protect and strengthen Canada’s health care system. Further, cutting the Health Council also means the loss of an important tool to monitor the performance of the health care system.

How are we to transform the health care system to improve patient care if we can’t measure what we’re doing well and what we need to improve?

In the summer of 2002, in its submission to the Royal Commission studying the future of medicare, the Canadian Medical Association called for the creation of a permanent body that would “report annually to Canadians on the performance of the health care system and the health status of the population.” The recommendation was supported by an overwhelming majority (91%) of Canadians surveyed.

Less than a year later, governments at the federal, provincial and territorial governments came together to put the health of Canadians first by creating the Health Council of Canada. The Council was formed to gather information and report on the performance of the system to those who matter most: Canadians.

Ten years later, Canada’s health care system needs all the information it can get, but instead we are about to lose one of the few bodies responsible for monitoring and measuring progress toward ensuring the health care system is able to meet the needs of Canadians.

The CMA will continue to advocate for transformation of the health care system, recognizing and taking into account the need for performance measurement and accountability to patients and their families.

Dr. Anna Reid
President, Canadian Medical Association

For further information:

Lucie Boileau, Senior Advisor, Communications and Public Outreach
Canadian Medical Association
[email protected]
Tel.: 800-663-7336 / 613-731-8610 ext. 1266
Cell.: 613-447-0866