The Need for a National Senior’s Strategy in Canada
Rising costs will make Canada’s universal access health care system unsustainable in the future unless a new national senior’s strategy is developed, according to Dr. Chris Simpson, President of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). Dr. Simpson emphasized the need for a national senior’s strategy at a luncheon hosted by the Canadian Club of Ottawa this week.
In his address, Dr. Simpson brought the audience’s attention to ‘code gridlock’, a situation in which a hospital is at full capacity and patients cannot be moved. During a gridlock, the hospital needs to free beds and does not take any patients from other hospitals in the region unless it is a ‘life or limb’ situation.
One of the biggest reasons why hospitals face ‘code gridlock’ is their inability to move seniors who no longer require acute care and are alternate level care (ALC) patients – into more appropriate care environments. He estimated 15% of acute care beds are occupied by ALC patients. He called for increased investment in long-term care and greater investment in home and community care services. As Dr. Simpson emphasized, spending more will not be enough on its own - spending smarter is equally important.
Since assuming the role of CMA President, Dr. Simpson has been calling for a national seniors care strategy to be developed that involves collaboration between different stakeholders.
The Role of the Private Sector in Improving Global Health
While delivering the keynote address at a roundtable discussion regarding the role of the private sector in improving global health, Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, spoke about the capability of the private sector in creating jobs and improving lives.
This stakeholder roundtable was organized by the Government of Canada and the Center for Global Health and Diplomacy (GHD). The roundtable is one in a series that are exploring innovative technology and private sector models, while focusing on how public-private partnerships can contribute to saving the lives of women and children. The findings of the series will be published in a special edition of the Global Health and Diplomacy magazine and distributed at a World Economic Forum meeting in January 2015.