Yesterday, the Canadian Medical Association released a summary of their series of national town hall meetings, which occurred earlier this year. Starting in Halifax the town halls were held in several major Canadian cities including: Toronto, Edmonton, La Prairie (Montreal), Vancouver (our own Ava Waxman was quoted in the summary which starts off with “to much applause, a representative of the Council for Canadians…”), and Ottawa.
Along with the Canadian Medical Association, the town halls were organised by the Maclean’s, L’actualité and broadcasted across the country by CPAC. The touring panellists included: Jeff Turnbull (President of the CMA), Andrew Coyne (National Editor of Maclean`s), and several local/regional doctors or presidents of nurses associations, hospitals, regional health ministries, etc.
The summary shows that there’s support across the country for expanding the Canada Health Act to include pharmacare and home care. There were calls across the country for federal leadership that will set national standards on continuum of care and to enforce the Canada Health Act. There were also calls across the country for recognition of the social determinants of health (environment, education, and income) and the need to address the additional challenges people living in poverty face.