An End to Rhetoric: Putting Patients First
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An End to Rhetoric: Putting Patients First

Greetings from the more than 65,000 physician-members of the Canadian Medical Association. The speaker addressing the club as the 140th president of the CMA. The first president. The health of Canadians. An analogy. The Canadian health system that needs fixing. CMA solutions. People that distort the message – an illustrative analogy. How health care can be strengthened and renewed to meet the needs of Canadians. Canadian doctors committed to achieving that goal. Three important steps. An expansion on each of those steps. Recognizing that patients come first. What the Supreme Court of Canada has said. Frustrations with waitlists. What the speaker is promoting and not promoting in terms of health care. The need for leadership from our politicians. Some of the touch questions that patients ask every day. Some realities about private health care insurance. Canada Health Act’s five principles. Three of the eight principles that Tommy Douglas described as essential omitted from the 1984 Act. Bringing back those three principles. How to move forward in a practical way to help patients. Patient-focused funding. Access to health-care services. Doctors fighting on behalf of our patients. Addressing the extreme shortage of physicians, nurses and other health-care professionals. Debt of doctor graduates. Career choices. The demographic crisis of health care. What governments need to understand in terms of wait lists and their costs. Health-care services as an investment. Specific proposals for reform.