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Press Release

Transforming Health Care About Improving Patient Health Not Cutting Costs

Canada NewsWire

OTTAWA, May 6, 2012 /CNW/ - Dr. John Haggie, President of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), today expressed his hope that the Ontario government would return to discussions with the province's doctors and continue the work already begun to transform the health care system to make it patient centred.

"Ontario's doctors have put forward several ideas around improving efficiency and boosting quality of health care services to patients," added Dr. Haggie. "They have much more to offer and now is no time for the government to turn its back on the role physicians can play in advancing the cause of improving care for their patients."

Over the course of the past year, Dr. Haggie has reached out to governments at all levels, urging them to pursue a principled-based approach to transforming the health care system so that it puts patients first. The Ontario health minister has also cited the need for health care transformation, going back as far as 2010, when she lauded proposals made for transformation put forward by Canada's doctors and shared them with counterparts at a meeting of federal, provincial and territorial health ministers.

"Every player in the health care system must be engaged in bringing about the transformational changes so desperately needed," said Dr. Haggie. "Seeking to impose change and taking a dictatorial approach is not the answer because engagement and buy-in is critical to creating a high-performing health care system."

Dr. Haggie added that Ontario's doctors have worked with government to identify solutions that would both save money and provide higher quality care to Ontario residents.

"We know that the Ontario government has championed the need for transforming health care so that it puts patients first," said Dr. Haggie. "It's baffling that the Ontario government would now ignore the opportunity to collaborate with physicians on finding efficient ways to provide high-quality health care."

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, CMA's mission is to serve and unite the physicians of Canada and be the national advocate, in partnership with the people of Canada, for the highest standards of health and health care. The CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing over 77,000 of Canada's physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 51 national medical organizations.