Canadian Healthcare Association

Canadian Healthcare Association

March 22, 2011 22:31 ET

Budget 2011 Promising Start but no Clean Bill of Health, Says CHA

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 22, 2011) - "Today's federal budget creates several new supports for the health system," said Pamela Fralick, President and CEO, Canadian Healthcare Association. "We welcome as first steps the proposed investments in palliative care, as well as tax credits for Canadians who are caring for sick family members. However, the choice of tax credits as the mechanism to deliver this support will disqualify those who can least afford to pay for medical expenses."

The budget is an opportunity for the federal government to demonstrate its leadership and move ideas to action. For instance, CHA notes the investment in health research. Innovation is the name of the game as we all struggle with the sustainability of the health system. A role in research allows the government to be a full player. Health facilities in Canada are doing research related to injury, genomics and new technologies. We hope that the funds identified in today's budget will be used to bring the results of those research initiatives from the 'bench to the bedside'. CHA will be pleased to talk further with the government on the evidence and best practices from our members, and the need for a strategic, coordinated approach to health research.

CHA also notes that the federal government is giving attention to the recruitment of health professionals. Increasing the number of health providers in rural and remote communities is a key to improving access to health services for Canadians. Today we heard about doctors and nurses – but health facilities across the country are trying to fill job vacancies for all providers, all of whom struggle with debt. Most importantly, the announcements in this budget do not speak to the overriding need for a coordinated and supported health human resources strategy in this country.

Unfortunately, the budget statement largely ignores the growing need for health services for our rapidly growing seniors population. CHA members have identified an urgent need to fund a national framework, linking long term, home and respite care with other parts of the system. "CHA will pursue this in discussions with the Minister of Health and Departmental staff," said Ms. Fralick. "Not focusing of these Canadians could be hazardous to the health of the system."

The Canadian Healthcare Association (CHA) has been an active champion of Canada's health system for 80 years. We are the only federation of provincial and territorial health associations and organizations representing the breadth of the health system. Learn more about our solutions to health system challenges at www.cha.ca.

CHA Vision

The Canadian Healthcare Association is the recognized champion for a sustainable and accountable quality health system that provides access to a continuum of comparable services throughout Canada, while upholding a strong, publicly-funded system as an essential, foundational component of this system.

CHA Mission

The Canadian Healthcare Association is a leader in developing, and advocating for, health policy solutions that meet the needs of Canadians.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Healthcare Association
    Teresa Neuman, Communications Specialist
    613-241-8005, ext. 205
    Cell: 613-282-6003
    613-241-5055 (FAX)
    tneuman@cha.ca
    www.cha.ca