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Canadian Cancer Society
An Open Letter to the Ministers of Health
23 November 2011
Dear Health Ministers,
In advance of the meeting of health ministers this month, and as provincial, territorial and federal governments turn their attention to the upcoming renegotiation of the Health Accord, the Canadian Cancer Society would like to set out the priorities that we consider critical for healthcare renewal and for improving the health of Canadians.
As an overarching principle, the Canadian Cancer Society strongly believes that the Health Accord must focus on improving the health outcomes of Canadians. Discussions must focus on how governments and civil society can work together, and each aspect of the final document must have measurable impacts on the health of Canadians. In order to achieve this, the Society has identified four priorities for the renewal of the Health Accord: prevention, access to drugs, palliative care and support for caregivers.
In addition, the 2014 Health Accord must address the pressing reality of the increasing number of Canadians who are treated for illness at home or in their communities. Restructuring of the healthcare system has resulted in less care being provided in hospital or other institutional settings and more patients receiving their care in informal settings and over longer periods of time. As a consequence of this trend, Canadians not only face inequities in their treatment, they increasingly bear the cost of their care, causing significant financial hardship in already difficult circumstances.
The Society believes that all Canadians have the right to high-quality palliative care. In many cases, receiving care at home or in a community setting is better for patients and their families. Specifically, we have identified the following three priorities to address the needs of patients who are receiving care outside an institutional setting.
We wish you a productive meeting and we look forward to working collaboratively with all levels of government to improve the health outcomes of all Canadians. We also look forward to informing our many thousands of supporters of your commitment to improving our healthcare system.
The Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.
For more information, please contact:
Senior Manager, Communications & Media Relations
Canadian Cancer Society
Phone: 416 934-5340