Earlier this spring I was asked to attend a luncheon that featured a speech by Dr. Jeff Turnbull, President of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA).
Dr. Turnbull, chief of staff at The Ottawa Hospital, a much-honoured physician and educator, an Order of Canada recipient and leader in his field, also tends to the homeless as medical director of Inner City Health, a program he helped to establish a decade ago. He has worked with UNESCO to build health systems in Bangladesh, Kenya and Nigeria.
He was very forthright in his assessment of our health care system – a system in decline.
Some of the statistics Dr. Turnbull reviewed:
- 5 million Canadians have no family doctor
- Emergency departments are overflowing (See Royal Columbian Hospital ER patients moved into Tim Hortons)
- Services for the mentally ill are lacking
- At least 10% of Canadians cannot afford to pay for necessary drugs or long term care
“We move from one crisis du jour to another, we’re on our heels all the time, it’s reactionary,” Turnbull said. “The sense of apathy, of fatigue, comes from too much discussion and not enough meaningful action. I think what we’re missing here is a steady, long-term vision for what health care should be, and a concerted, strategic plan.”
Dr. Turnbull feels that the federal government should take the lead: “We ask the federal government to demonstrate courage and leadership,” he says. The challenge is to “harness the national will to reshape (health care) for the future.”
Just as the federal government created the heavily promoted Canadian Economic Action Plan in 2009 to inject stimulus into a badly slumping economy, Turnbull has been calling upon the feds to create a Health Care Action Plan – a plan to call upon the participation of provinces and municipalities to address infrastructure needs and make more effective use of all services and deliver more accountability.
When asked about Ottawa’s response to this call, he politely described it as ‘muted’.
The upcoming election seems to be proving his point.
|A review of Karen’s work:
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Karen was the highlight of our agenda and the response from our advisors was tremendous. We have seen an immediate increase in applications for Long Term Care insurance including applications on advisors themselves.
I would recommend Karen to anyone interested in the Long Term Care planning field.
Ken Mossing, CASA