Peter Watts: The need for improved patient access to long-term care

Quebec's population is aging, and home care is part of the solution.
Canadian physicians are worried about long-term patient care. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Statistics Canada reports there are now more Canadians over the age of 65 years old than under the age of 18.

That means it’s time to build a national strategy for dealing with seniors, a strategy that needs to include access to long-term care and to PharmaCare. These cannot, and should not, be exclusive to those who can afford it.

READ MORE: 1 in 5 Canadian seniors entering long-term care too soon

“If we are going to truly strengthen our health-care system and ensure it evolves to meet the needs of Canadians, we need to listen to the voices of doctors on the front lines of care,” said Dr. Laurent Marcoux, the new president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA).

“The fact that eight of 10 physicians rate access to long-term care beds as unsatisfactory is an urgent call to action.”

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READ MORE: Alberta continuing care wait times the worst in five years, says report 

It is a cry that has been heard before from the CMA and from other health-care professional organizations.

It’s a cry that needs to be heeded and picked up by Canadian voters. There’s a real need to make this an election issue in 2019.

After all, I know of no Canadians who are getting any younger.

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