Across Canada, Canadians are waiting longer than ever to receive priority medical services that can save lives, alleviate suffering, improve health outcomes and enhance quality of life. While wait times for medical services in Canada were problematic prior to COVID-19, the pandemic has exacerbated this issue, forcing many Canadians to live in pain or face delays for life saving treatments.
As our federal and provincial governments and Canadian health system leaders look to rebuild health care systems across our country post-pandemic, it’s imperative to ensure that innovative technologies and solutions are utilized as a key element to address these challenges. Medtech Canada and the medical technology industry want to be a partner in the solution.
As Prime Minister Trudeau looks to implement his campaign commitments on health care—including $6 billion to address the backlog of surgeries and procedures—Medtech Canada would urge him to include innovation adoption as a part of these strategies. It’s also imperative that the Trudeau government follows through on its campaign commitment to, “provide $3.2 billion to the provinces and territories for the hiring of 7,500 new family doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners”, as shortages of these critical health human resources are hindering Canadian health care’s ability to deliver care.
Canadians have entrusted Prime Minister Trudeau and his team to deliver meaningful and positive results to improve health care across our country, and his government’s commitments around addressing surgical and procedural wait times are much welcomed and highly necessary.
Provinces are beginning to recognize the potential for innovation to be a part of the solution, as exemplified by Ontario’s recently announced $30M Surgical Innovation Fund and Quebec’s call for medtech solutions to address this issue last year, but the federal government can play an important national role on this issue, particularly given its fiscal capabilities.
Canada can make meaningful, long-term impacts for patients and our health care systems across the country by facilitating innovation adoption as a part of these strategies. While the pandemic progressed some innovation adoption out of necessity, Canada continues to be a poor adopter of innovation in health care due to a lack of dedicated funding, short-sighted procurement practices and siloed health care budgets.
As the Trudeau government seeks to address surgical and procedural backlogs across the country, let’s take this opportunity to “Build Back Better” by ensuring that innovation is included as a part of the solution.
Some examples of the solutions available from medical technology companies in Canada to address medical services backlogs, reduce wait times and create health system efficiencies at this critical juncture in Canadian health care include:
- Utilizing technologies that enable clinicians to undertake minimally invasive surgical procedures that can reduce time spent in the operating room, enable improved patient outcomes and faster recoveries, while reducing post-surgical visits and complications.
- Providing the technologies, clinical expertise, clinical education and efficiency solutions to enable same-day orthopaedic procedures.
- Working with medtech companies to connect vital signs monitors to hospital health information systems, which can significantly reduce nursing hours spent dealing with administrative documentation.
Medtech Canada will soon be launching a new section of our microsite (medtechinnovation.ca) that will highlight stories about how medical technology companies can help address medical services backlogs and create health system efficiencies in Canada.
We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with our government and health care partners to address these challenges together.