Wellness and Sustainable Health Care Summit
Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel •
Message from the Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Healthcare
As Chief Economist and the head of the Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care the simple numbers relating to health care in Canada trouble me …
90% of Canadians can’t be wrong
A recent Ekos study conducted for The Conference Board found that 90% of Canadians think that health care should be the main priority for national decision makers.
So shouldn’t improving the system and the wellness of Canadians be your priority?
Yet spiraling costs, an aging population, and deficit and debt reduction at all levels of government challenge the very survival of effective universal care. Board research shows that despite increased spending Canada’s health care system performs worse than other countries such as Germany, Switzerland, France and Australia.
The board established our Canadian Centre for Sustainable Health Care precisely to address the issue of how to improve the health care system and put it on a sustainable footing. Our research quickly expanded to look into the broader issue of the wellness of our population.
Crisis, what crisis?
The Conference Board of Canada gave our health care system a “B” grade in a recent comparison with other OECD countries. That’s not bad. But it means the system falls short of what Canadians should be getting for their money. And with budget cuts, an aging population putting pressure on the system and the increasing costs of new technologies, the rise in chronic disease is certain than without major change Canadians will have to settle for a deteriorating level and quality of care.
So while there isn’t a crisis yet in health care overall it’s symptoms mirror that of the population as a whole – the system is facing a chronic condition and we must all act now to fix things before it gets worse.
A call to action
After our 2012 Summit we identified a series of inconvenient truths about our health care system—and they will provide a springboard to a discussion of what we can DO to change the system. They are:
- We need to set clear shared goals for our healthcare system
- Society needs to face some tradeoffs in order to fund and target health
- Putting more resources into the system makes it “durable” not “sustainable”
- We need change based on evidence not ideology
- Balkanization is a serious obstacle to change and effectiveness
- We have a delivery model mired in the 60’s that is ill equipped to address chronic care and prevention
- Patients should lead a major transformation of the system
- The right incentives and accountability are critical to successful change
- The system makes poor use of innovative technology and modern management
- The system is misaligned with an aging population
- Society must cast a broad net in improving health’
- Individuals need to take responsibility for the quality of their lives, and deaths
12 inconvenient truths, five key priorities:
- Fix the gateway to the health care system. Primary care, not the emergency room, should be the first contact point within the health care system and the key access point for other health-related services.
- Invest in and use technology in the health care system, particularly information and communication technology. More intensive and standardized use of information technology will allow patient information to be collected and shared seamlessly, making treatment more effective and efficient
- Change the compensation system and related labour contracts for health care professionals. Compensation models need be linked more to patient and community health care outcomes and less to activities such as treatment and consultation. This is necessary to create the right incentives structures and improve the alignment with accountability.
- Focus on the state of the health and wellness of Canadians. A healthy population should be our goal. We need a system focused on “wellness” as well as “health care.” Individuals, Employers, community organizations, and families have important roles to play in supporting wellness.
- Build a more transparent and accountable health care system with respect to goals, management, and performance.
Benefit from the insights of the Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Healthcare.
Once again this year the Summit will feature the latest research from CASHC including:
- Reducing the Health Care and Societal Costs of Disease: The Role of Pharmaceuticals
- Healthy Active Living in Canada: Series of briefings (1 or 2 before the conference)
- Improving Health Care Delivery Through Process Management
- Future Care for Seniors
- Smoking Cessation and the Workplace:
- Briefing 2: Smoking Cessation Programs: What Works and Who has Access (mid-June)
- Briefing 3: Workplace Smoking Cessation Programs: An Economic Perspective
- Managing the Drivers of Absenteeism and Lost Productivity
- Health Care in Canada: An Economic Growth Engine: Briefing 2—International Trade and Investment in Health (October)
Hear from a broad range of experts and the latest research.
This 2013 Health Summit will once again convene Canada’s health system leaders to discuss the latest research, learn from top Canadian and international experts, and explore solutions for Canada’s greatest health challenges and opportunities.
Both in Toronto and Edmonton the Board proved its ability to convene a broad range of stakeholders, including medical and health professionals, administrators, professional associations, health services providers, pharmaceutical companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments, suppliers, and patient groups. This breadth of expertise is essential to find workable solutions for the system’s sustainability issues.
The details of this conference are subject to change. Please revisit this page periodically for updated information.