Health Council criticizes health reform progress

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 55, No. 6, July August 2013, Pages 293-294 News

The Health Council of Canada’s 2013 progress report says efforts in health reform are happening too slowly to keep up with the evolving health care needs of Canadians.

The report states that Canadians are not being provided with timely access to care, regardless of income and region. Although improvements to health care are being made, the report suggests that governments are still not working together to share innovative practices, deal with common issues, and promote accountability. Additionally, because health care targets are often unclear and are measured and reported differently across the country, it is difficult to assess and compare progress accurately.

On the issue of wait times, the Council suggests that governments enlarge their wait-time focus from priority procedures such as hip re­placements and radiation therapy to other parts of the system including emergency care.

The report also states that governments have failed to deliver their promise of 24/7 access to primary health care services, citing the lack of clear targets and performance measures as a contributing factor to the problem. The Council also suggests that it might be time to mandate the use of electronic medical records rather than relying on physicians to make voluntary efforts to adopt EMR technology.

The report can be viewed at

. Health Council criticizes health reform progress . BCMJ, Vol. 55, No. 6, July, August, 2013, Page(s) 293-294 - News.

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