Monday, August 29, 2011

Improve health and health care in Saskatchewan

Aug 15, 2011

Target: Leaders of Saskatchewan's Provincial Parties (Saskatchewan, NDP, Liberal, PC, Green)

Click image above
In 2014, during the term of the next Government of Saskatchewan, the current 2004 Health Accord – the deal that sets funding and healthcare service delivery agreements between the federal, provincial and territorial governments – will expire and must be renegotiated. This is a unique opportunity to improve health and health care for all Canadians.

The renewed 2014 Health Accord must be a joint initiative between all provincial, territorial and federal governments and must include key provisions in order to improve the accessibility, equity, comprehensiveness and sustainability of our health system. Among these provisions is the need for action on primary health care across Canada, including increased access for Canadians to Community Health Centres.

Community Health Centres (CHCs), including Saskatchewan's Co-op CHCs, have been around in Canada for many years. But they’ve always been ahead of their times. CHCs are the only primary health care services that bring together family physicians, nurses and other health professionals under a single roof to provide team-based care, combined with a wide range of other health promotion and community development services.

CHCs are also the only model of primary health care that thoroughly address the "social determinants of health". This means that while CHC health care providers and program staff respond to people’s individual health needs, they also create programs and services that reduce social and environmental problems that cause illness in the first place. All services are carefully tailored to respond to the needs and priorities of the local community that is being served. This results in high-quality, patient-centred care coupled with community care.

Unfortunately, only a small fraction of Saskatchewan residents currently have access to a Community Health Centre. An expansion of access to CHCs in Saskatchewan will mean accessible, high-quality, preventive health care for more individuals and families. It will also result in healthier communities and a more effective and sustainable provincial health system for all residents of Saskatchewan!

Short video about Canada's Community Health Centres


We call on the next Government of Saskatchewan to commit to negotiating a renewed 2014 Health Accord in concert with the other Provinces and Territories and the Government of Canada, including:

a) A 6% increase in health transfers from the Government of Canada to the provinces/territories for the duration of the accord; and

b) A commitment to NOT subtract any of these new health transfers from other, existing social transfers; and

c) A renewed commitment to the five principles of the Canada Health Act; and

d) Adoption of the following additional seven principles for Canada's health system: "patient-centred"; "quality"; "health promotion and illness prevention"; "equitable"; "sustainable"; "accountable"; "community-oriented"; and

e) A provision within the accord identifying “access to appropriate primary health care” as a priority area for federal and provincial/territorial action.

We also call on the next Government of Saskatchewan to commit to developing a plan to expand access to Community Health Centre (CHC) services through a combination of new resources for existing CHCs in Saskatchewan -- so that they may extend services and programs to community members most urgently in need -- and funding for new Community Health Centres in communities where needs cannot be met by an existing CHC.

The Improve health and health care in Saskatchewan petition to Leaders of Saskatchewan's Provincial Parties (Saskatchewan, NDP, Liberal, PC, Green) was written by CACHCA and is in the category Health at GoPetition. Contact author here.

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