Canadian Medical Association

Canadian Medical Association

September 16, 2008 08:00 ET

CMA: Open Letter to the Leaders of the Five Major Political Parties

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 16, 2008) -

Dear Sirs/Madam:

With the federal election campaign now well underway, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is issuing a Health Challenge and asking the five major political parties to communicate their plans for meeting Canadians' health needs.

Voters deserve to know how candidates plan to address pressing health care issues, such as the doctor shortage that has left five million Canadians without a family physician. With the Health Challenge, the CMA is offering the parties a chance to share their visions for the future of health and health care.

In the current campaign Canada's doctors are concerned about the lack of attention being paid to health care issues, which Canadians consistently rank among their most important concerns. A recent poll conducted by Ipsos Reid confirms their importance: 96% of Canadians say the federal government should take a leadership role in addressing the doctor shortage, and 91% say the inclusion of a plan for addressing the doctor shortage may influence the way they vote.

So here's our challenge: release your party's health care platform by Sept. 29 to give voters time to make informed decisions when they mark their ballot Oct. 14. To help guide this important work, we have sent each party a questionnaire seeking your solutions to the most pressing health and health care challenges facing the country:

- doctor shortage;

- mental health;

- innovation and information technology;

- access to prescription drugs;

- health and the environment; and,

- sustainability of the health care system.

Our goal is simple: to inform Canadians. As is customary, we will not endorse any party, candidate or platform. However, on Oct. 3 we will publish a special Voters' Guide at cma.ca/election2008 that will contain all the responses we have received.

Health care is too important an issue to be shoved to the sidelines during this election. Canadians want action, and their doctors are not going to let politicians ignore this fact.

Sincerely,

Robert Ouellet, MD, FRCPC, President

Contact Information

  • Canadian Medical Association
    Lucie Boileau
    Manager of Media Relations
    Cell: 613-447-0866
    or
    Canadian Medical Association
    Media room
    514-876-4305
    www.cma.ca