A National Strategy on Seniors Health Care?

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and Canadian Association of Retired People (CARP) are pushing for a national strategy on seniors’ health care.  In preparation for their campaign, they had Ipsos Reid conduct a survey of Canadians about health care concerns later in life, in 2014.  The results of that poll are summarized in the following ‘report card’ infographic below. National Report on Health Care - Seniors Health - CMA - 2014They want to ensure candidates in federal by-elections and the upcoming general election consider seniors’ health care issues, specifically the following twelve issues:

  1. Should the federal government play a role in ensuring national standards, benchmarks, and funding for access to high quality healthcare?
  2. Should there be a National Pharmacare program to ensure that all Canadians have equal access to affordable drugs regardless of where they live in Canada or their income level?
  3. Should the federal government work with provinces and territories to establish wait time guarantees for home and community based care, including long term care?  Should federal health funding be earmarked for meeting such guarantees?
  4. Should all Canadians  have timely access to high quality palliative care regardless of where they live in Canada? [today, only 30% of Canadians had access to palliative care when they needed it].
  5. Should there be a National Seniors’ Care Strategy with benchmarks and funding that specifically address the health care and social service needs to prepare for the demographic shift ahead?
  6. Should Canada’s 8 million family caregivers receive comprehensive support that replaces lost income and provides training and respite services?
  7. Should there be a National Dementia Care Strategy that would provide support, resources and training for the 750,000 Canadians who have dementia and 1-in-10 Canadians who are caring for someone with dementia?
  8. Should there be a national conversation on end of life care, choices, and patients’ rights?
  9. Should there be a new tax-incentivized savings vehicle for continuing care to encourage Canadians to pre-save for their future care needs?
  10. Shoul there be an integrated ‘continuum of healthcare’ that starts with prevention and follows patients from first diagnosis or acute episode, through initial treatment, ongoing care, and through to end of life needs?
  11. Should Canada’s pension system be improved to ensure that every Canadian senior will have an adequate retirement income?
  12. Should the federal ‘infrastructure investment program’ allow provincial/territorial investment in continuing care infrastructure?

Besides the Ipsos-Reid poll of Canadians about health care concerns for seniors, they also had specific polling done in 26 “key” ridings where the winning candidate won by 3% or less of the vote.   The results are shown in this infographic from the CMA:

Doctors n the House 2014 - Health Care for Seniors Polling in ‘key ridings’ in the upcoming federal election about health care issues for seniors.

With regard to long term care, the following infographic provides some information about older adults receiving long term care, and about those providing care, as well as some of the issues from their two different perspectives: Long Term Care - older adults and caregivers - information and issues For more information about this campaign and a national health care strategy, see www.demandaplan.ca/