Seniors’ health strategy wanted
CALGARY—A poll released by the Canadian Medical Association says most people want a national strategy for seniors’ health care which includes an emphasis on keeping them in their homes as long as possible.
The Ipsos Reid poll, done annually as part of the association’s national report card on health issues, said 93 percent of those surveyed indicated any such plan should address care at homes, hospitals, hospices, and long-term facilities.
“The results of this year’s CMA report card send a clear and direct message to policy-makers and public office-holders that all levels of government need to act to address the demographic tsunami that is heading toward the health-care system,” CMA president Dr. Anna Reid noted in a release.
Reid said research shows it costs $126 a day to provide care for a patient in long-term care versus $842 a day in a hospital.
But making it easier for seniors to stay at home while getting the care they need would be the preferred and most “cost-effective option,” she said.
Other results from the poll, conducted July 17-26 by phone with 1,000 Canadians, found 89 percent of those surveyed believed a national approach to seniors’ care should involve federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal levels of government.
And 78 percent suggested the federal government has an important role to play in developing a strategy.
Only four out of 10 felt that hospitals and long-term care facilities in their area could handle the needs of seniors not able to stay at home.
The same proportion said they were confident in the current health system’s ability to serve Canada’s aging population.
“The anxiety Canadians have about health care in their so-called golden years is both real and well-founded,” Reid noted.
“Let there be no doubt that a national strategy for seniors health care should be a federal priority,” she stressed.
The CMA’s annual convention is being held in Calgary and runs until Wednesday.
Federal Health minister Rona Ambrose was scheduled to address the meeting today.