The people of Canada feel that there are several other areas in which improvements need to be made. There needs to be a process of integrating coverage for prescription drugs within Medicare in a uniform manner across all jurisdictions. Specific recommendations have include using the proposed Catastrophic Drug Transfer to offset the cost of provincial and territorial drug plans and reduce disparities in coverage across the country. Other suggested approaches have include: establishing a National Drug Agency to control costs and to evaluate new and existing drugs, and reviewing aspects of national patent laws to improve access to generic prescription drugs while containing costs.
There needs to be development of homecare as an essential service in the Canadian health care system. Specific recommendations have included using the proposed Home Care Transfer to ensure all Canadians have access to common homecare services. This would consist of revising the Canada Health Act to include three elements of homecare as necessary medical services - home mental health management and intervention services, post-acute homecare, and palliative homecare. It is also felt that there is a need to provide benefits in support informal caregivers such as family and friends who deliver care.
There are serious disparities in health for Canada's Aboriginal peoples as well and there is need these to be addressed. Specific recommendations have include consolidating health funding from all federal, provincial/territorial, municipal, and band sources into a new Aboriginal Health Partnership in order to establish a clear structures and mandates. There is also a need to ensure that ongoing input from Aboriginal peoples into the direction and design of health care services in their respective communities. It is thought that in order to makes these services work for this group of people it is necessary to find out from them exactly what it is that they need.
There is a need to improve health care in rural and remote areas through the proposed Rural and Remote Access Fund by addressing the shortage of qualified health professionals and expanding Telehealth in order to improve access to care. There are also issues regarding Canada's health care system in the global context that need attention. Specific recommendations have include ensuring that Canadians will not be constrained by international law and trade agreements in the organization of their health care system; playing a leadership role in improving health care in developing nations; and solving health professional shortages domestically rather than recruiting from developing nations which in turn has caused shortages in those nations.
These issues are all very important to the citizens of Canada and if health plans are going to take federal funding then they need to make sure that the interests of the people are being taken into account. Having governmental regulations put on the money is the only way that the government can make sure that they money is being spent on the right things. And if agencies are not spending the money to promote the best interests of the citizens then there should be penalties imposed until the regulations are adhered to. This is the only way to keep it fair for everybody involved.
Due to the fact that the federal government of Canada has no constitutional powers to regulate the delivery of health care in the country they are forced to use funding as the one leverage that they have over the provinces and territories. In the beginning the system was set up so that the government contributed to the overall healthcare funding of the country and thus were able to set down and enforce regulations. At some point they decided that they didn't want to do this anymore. That decision led to many problems. Every province and territory was now allowed to do as they wished without any regulations to stop them. This led to many of them enacting policies such as extra billing and user charges. These practices were very unfair to the citizens of the country and were seen by the federal government as being unnecessary.
With the enactment of the Canada Health Policy of 1984 the federal government once again established the regulations that came with the funding that each province and territory was to receive. They banned the unfair policies of extra billing and user charges that had been put into practice and even established penalties that could be imposed on those who chose not to follow the newly set rules.
When there are no rules and regulations that the provinces and territories are being held to then they are obviously going to do things that are in their best interest and not in the best interest of the citizens of the country. Because of this it is very necessary the provision of federal money come with rules and regulations that work to control this kind of behavior. The best interests of the citizens should be the number one priority. This is especially true when you are talking about health care. Under many circumstances when people are sick and in need of health care they are not in a position to be able to complete scrutinize every detail of the health care that they are receiving.
These people should be able to face an illness or an injury and know that they are going to have access to timely healthcare that is not going to cast them a fortune and that they will be able to access it in the area in which they are. The healthcare system in Canada that is administered by the provinces and territories proved that they could not carry out a system that was best for everyone involved. It seems to take the federal rules and regulations in order to get everyone on the same page and looking at doing what is right and not what is just more profitable.
The Canada Health Act has proved to be the measure that was needed to set those who are delivering the healthcare straight. It has put the emphasis back on the patients and set the system moving in the right direction in order to make sure that affordable timely healthcare is accessible to everyone across the country.
Makarenko, Jay. 2007. "Canadian Federalism and Public Health Care: The Evolution of Federal-
Provincial Relations." 3 March 2010.
Makarenko, Jay. 2007. "Romanow Commission on the Future of Health Care: Findings and Recommendations." 3 March 2010.