Professional Association of Residents of Alberta

Professional Association of Residents of Alberta

August 23, 2006 13:43 ET

PARA: Sun Has Not Set on Public Health Care System

CHARLOTTETOWN, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 23, 2006) - Advocates for Medicare have an opportunity to come up with new ideas for improving Canada's publicly funded health care system in order to silence those who are promoting private sector solutions, according to Dr. Kathryn Andrusky, President of the 1,200-member Professional Association of Residents of Alberta (PARA).

In particular, we need to address the problems of timely access, which is the most troubling problem for both patients and physicians, she said. PARA represents resident physicians who are continuing their medical training to become family or specialist physicians.

"All physicians want the best possible health care for their patients," Dr. Andrusky said. "However, resident physicians believe that the sun has not yet set on options to save the public health care system." PARA is urging the Canadian Medical Association to "continue to fight for access for all patients, regardless of financial circumstances."

Physician delegates at the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) general council (August 21-23) engaged in passionate debate on how best to tackle waning patient access, particularly over a motion that "parallel private health insurance for medically necessary physician and hospital services is inconsistent with the principle that access to medical care must be based on need and not ability to pay."

Dr. Andrusky said she was surprised the motion did not pass because it reflects one of the 10 principles in the CMA's report ("It's About Access") on the interface between the public and private sectors.

Alberta's resident physicians remain strong supporters of public health care and call for reforms that address deficiencies in the public system. "Clearly, Canadian physicians are not of one mind as to how access for all patients can be ensured, but it is crucial that the focus be on new innovations to optimize and strengthen public health care," said Dr. Andrusky.

PARA is encouraged that the CMA delegates supported other motions calling for recommendations to identify areas where the public system can be strengthened. "Resident physicians are most willing to work with the CMA and others in this most important endeavour."

Contact Information

  • Professional Association of Residents of Alberta
    Dr. Kathryn Andrusky
    Cell: (780) 984-9058
    Professional Association of Residents of Alberta
    Ms. Sarah Thomas
    Executive Director
    (780) 432-1749
    (780) 432-1778 (FAX)