Doctors discuss future of Canada’s health care system
Health Minister Rona Ambrose addresses members of the council in Calgary.
Published Tuesday, August 20, 2013 10:31AM MDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 20, 2013 10:35AM MDT
The Canadian Medical Association is holding its annual general meeting in Calgary this week and topics of discussion include senior’s care and end-of-life issues.
The meeting is at the Telus Convention Centre and runs through August 21.
Canada's aging baby boomer population was among the topics up for discussion as more are becoming seniors.
Dr. Anna Reid is the CMA President and she says governments have to make sure the health care system is ready for the wave of aging Canadians within the next ten years.
A recent survey found Canadians are worried about their future.
“Well, they're anxious about the future because they actually don't believe that the health care system, the way it's set up right now, is gonna be able to provide the care in the setting they would wish to receive it,” said Dr. Reid.
Dr. Reid says the survey also found that most seniors would prefer to receive care in their own homes so governments need to come up with a good plan for palliative care.
“We found out actually that the majority of Canadians would like to receive a lot of their care actually in the home and in the community setting rather than in hospitals and so we also know that around the country we have difficulty providing the best palliative care because we don’t have the resources in home care and in long term care facilities to do it in the right place so we’re calling for a senior’s strategy that looks at all these issues, inclusind a good palliative care strategy,” said Dr. Reid.
Health Minister Rona Ambrose spoke to delegates of the CMA’s General Council on Monday and says Ottawa doesn't plan on changing its position on doctor-assisted suicides.
Ambrose says the government has expresses its position on euthanasia and assisted suicide and that remains unchanged.
"This is an issue that,as you know is very emotional for a lot of people and not just regular Canadians but also physicians so, what I would say is, all of us think about the issue because we have elderly grandparents and elderly parents, it is on the minds of many because Quebec has introduced their legislation, as you know parliament voted in 2010 to not change its position on this issue so at this time we don't have any intention of changing our position," said Ambrose.
Ambrose went on to say that the meeting is the right place for discussions on the issue and she looks forward to seeing what comes out of the meetings.
Dr. Reid says there is a lot of division among physicians on the subject but that it is something that needs to be discussed since the debate is being driven by society
(With files from The Canadian Press)