Federal Budget 2018 falls short on health care

February 28, 2018

(February 28, 2018, Mississauga, ON) - The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) is concerned that health care funding announced in the 2018 federal budget falls short of supporting and sustaining health care into the future. Notably absent is any mention of primary care reform to meet evolving and ongoing needs of Canadians.

The CFPC is encouraged that the federal government is investing in Indigenous health and measures to address the opioid crisis.

A national, universal pharmacare program can improve the lives of people across Canada and while we appreciate the first steps the government has taken, considering the amount of evidence that would support such a program, these are tentative steps in what is a transformative program. The CFPC continues to advocate for a national pharmacare program, as indicated in its 2016 report card, The Role of the Federal Government in Health Care.

“Our members know how hard it can be for some of their patients to access affordable and necessary medications,” says CFPC President Guillaume Charbonneau, MD, CCFP, FCFP. “This is why, on behalf of our family physician members, the CFPC has long supported universal pharmacare.”

Further, many of the CFPC’s members participate in research in primary health care—an area where most patient interactions in Canada take place, yet one that receives scant health research funding. This is an opportunity for the federal government to create and direct funds to a primary care research institute as part of its ongoing commitment to science and innovation. Yet, there was no mention in the federal budget of such an institute as part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

The CFPC continues to encourage the federal government to support and enhance primary care in Canada, particularly with an emphasis on collaborative, patient-centred models that support continuity and comprehensiveness of care, as defined in the CFPC’s Patient’s Medical Home. Progress in this area was not apparent in the budget.

The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) represents more than 37,000 members across the country. It is the professional organization responsible for establishing standards for the training and certification of family physicians. The CFPC reviews and accredits continuing professional development programs and materials that enable family physicians to meet certification and licensing requirements and lifelong learning interests. It also accredits postgraduate family medicine training in Canada’s 17 medical schools. The College provides quality services, supports family medicine teaching and research, and advocates on behalf of family physicians and the specialty of family medicine.

Susan Monic
Manager, Communication Services
College of Family Physicians of Canada
905-629-0900 ext. 432
[email protected]

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