Made-in-Canada health care reform

NationalPost – Life/Health/Letter – Made-in-Canada health care reform
Published: Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Re: CMA Pushes European-Style Health Care, Feb. 10.

Dr. Robert Ouellet need not have gone to Europe to find innovative ways to reduce wait lists and control costs. A tour of different facilities in Canada will show how wait lists can be eliminated.

In southwestern Saskatchewan, one physician working in a team with three nurse practitioners looks after 3,200 patients, over twice the Canadian average. In Hamilton, Ont., teams of mental health counsellors, family doctors and psychiatrists have increased the numbers of patients treated for mental health problems by 900% while decreasing referrals to the regional psychiatry clinic by 70%. In Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., a task force reduced the time from mammogram to breast cancer diagnosis from 107 to 18 days.

The list goes on. We need to focus on making these innovations the new norm in health care delivery.

Linda Silas, president, Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, Ottawa.

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