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Far too many Canadians lack access to timely primary care and experience long wait times for services; planning is inadequate for the surging needs of the population of older seniors and, among other issues, the fundamental one of optimizing population health, or addressing mental health and addiction, have never received adequate attention. Like the myth of Sisyphus, many attempts, most based on cost-saving objectives, have been made to push fundamental change in the governance, management, structure, function, and accountability of health services in Canada. Why do they continue to be unsuccessful? What are the roadblocks and how might they be overcome? This Roadmap summarizes the steps to a more integrated, accessible and high quality healthcare system. It summarizes the main highlights of Roadmap for Reform: A Consensus View of the Viable Options Ahead for Canada’s Healthcare “System” By Don Drummond, Duncan Sinclair, Dr. David Walker and David Jones. The paper reviews recent literature to determine a general consensus on the viable options ahead and incorporates feedback from 23 expert reviewers.
This Roadmap represents the first steps in building a foundation to support longer term goals such as redefining long-term care to encompass a continuum including homecare and community-based living; a transformation of digital health services and solutions; improving access and reducing inequality and putting a greater emphasis on health promotion and avoidance of ill-health.
Overcoming resistance to changes in health with well-informed opinion of the status quo is not the only way around the roadblocks. Doing that though is important politically to spur our provincial, territorial, and federal governments to work closely together and also get them to recruit to their discussions municipal governments with their heavy sway over health’s powerful social determinants. The goal: to enable Canadians to be among the healthiest in the world.