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National Union responds to new Health Council report

'The National Union has set out a ten step plan for addressing wait-times and putting our Medicare system on stable footing. This report suggests that we are on the right track.'  ... James Clancy, NUPGE president

Ottawa (4 Feb. 2008) ... A new report from the Health Council of Canada (HCC) makes an important contribution to the on-going dialogue regarding health care reform in Canada, says James Clancy, National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE).

-This report provides a valuable blueprint for future action to strengthen and expand our public health care system in the areas of primary care and home care," Clancy says.

The report, entitled Fixing the Foundation: An Update on Primary Health Care and Home Care Renewal in Canada, is the result of a national survey conducted on behalf of the Council.

The survey, undertaken by Statistics Canada in early 2007, is the first of its kind to examine the public's experiences with the health care system during the previous year. Some 2,200 people participated. The report also evaluates renewal efforts in the provinces and territories and calls for action to accelerate primary health care and home care renewal efforts across Canada.

'Strategic direction'

In the report HCC chair Jeanne Besner says:

"If we could say only one thing to the government officials and health professionals involved in primary health care and home care reform, it would be this: Keep up the good work you're doing in some areas, speed up your efforts in others, build on what's been proven to work, and set targets, evaluate, and show Canadians the results."

"We are gratified that the report reflects the strategic direction weve been advocating for health care reform," says Clancy.

-We are particularly pleased that the report echoes our call for an expanded public home care program across the country," he adds.

-In addition, the report clearly suggests that health human resource issues are a serious problem in this country. We hear from our members across the country about the critical shortage of health professionals. Weve consistently urged the federal government to work with the provinces to develop and implement a comprehensive national health human resources strategy."

10-step plan

The National Union also endorses the reports recommendations to improve electronic patient records and chronic care services in Canada.

"The National Union has set out a 10-step plan for addressing the wait-time crisis and putting our Medicare system on stable footing," Clancy says. "This report suggests to me that we are on the right track." NUPGE

More information:
● Canada's Medicare System: Building on the Legacy!
● Fixing the Foundation: An Update on Primary Health Care and Home Care Renewal in Canada 

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