Since its inception, Canadian Doctors for Medicare has advocated for equitable access to high quality, medically necessary physician and hospital services. Given Canada’s health care challenges, simply defending the status quo is not an option. We need to address our health human resource shortages, demographic shifts, and the need for efficient allocation of public funds. Advocating for Medicare means not only defending the Canada Health Act but also advocating for continuous improvement in the health care system. The principles enshrined in the Canada Health Act—accessibility, universality, portability, comprehensiveness and public administration should be viewed as a foundation upon which a high-quality health care system must be built and continually improved. Although these principles represent the minimum necessary conditions that the system must satisfy, they are not sufficient to ensure the health of Canadians or the sustainability of our system.
My Better Medicare is about moving forward with positive change in health care within the publicly-funded system rather than outside it. The campaign will identify and disseminate existing and potential innovations to local or provincial health systems that enhance patient care or the effectiveness of service and sustain the principles of the Canada Health Act. These practical, tested solutions that are adapted to the Canadian context offer opportunities to improve our system rather than dismantling it. Initiatives will be highlighted for their contribution to:
- Increasing equity, not only in access but also in outcomes
- Improving the overall quality of care
- Increasing the provision of effective, clinically indicated services
- Decreasing the provision of ineffective services that are not clinically indicated
- Efficiently using financial and human resources
- Engaging the public in health system resource allocation, design and delivery issues
The overarching goals of My Better Medicare are to:
- Illustrate to doctors, ordinary Canadians and policymakers how our health care system is currently being improved, and can continue to be improved, by innovating within Medicare
- Share innovative and valuable best practices and ideas among health care professionals and policy makers, with the ultimate goal of improving the health care system for all Canadians
The My Better Medicare website is a clearinghouse for innovation and ideas supporting better health care in an equitable public system. Guest bloggers post news from across Canada showing how our health care system is growing and changing to meet its challenges. These posts are intended to invite discussion and debate among physicians and the public about the results via comment pages attached to each posted innovation.
The My Better Medicare website is a place where the successes of our health care system are celebrated. Patients wishing to share experiences and make suggestions about how to improve the system within an equity framework can add to the wealth of existing ideas posted on the site.
My Better Medicare works to enhance the dialogue in Canada to bring forward the ideas and innovations that can continue to build evidence-based solutions that reflect Canadian values to tackle the challenges facing our public health care system.