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Canada Specific Healthcare Question 7
If you were the current Minister of Health, what two changes would you make to healthcare provision in Canada?
I would firstly tackle the increasing issue of chronic disease becoming more prevalent in Canada, and difficult to tackle. Conditions such as diabetes, dementia and heart failure have seen a rise in recent years, especially amongst many Canadian seniors, and are placing significant strain on limited health resources. Therefore, to rectify this it may be wise to create solutions in the community, for example by providing means of educating individuals on how to mitigate the risk of developing these conditions.
Alternatively, to reduce these pressures on hospitals, I would suggest physicians referring patients suffering from these chronic disorders to specialist services that can provide them with the appropriate education and treatment. Patients with these conditions can suffer an array of co-morbidities that cause them to seek hospital treatment, therefore it is important to notify patients of these potential risks and how to prevent them from occurring. For example, in diabetes it is common for patients to have an increased risk of infection, thus notifying them of how to reduce this risk would be exceedingly beneficial. The second issue I would approach is the waiting times. Currently, Canada is experiencing one of the worst waiting times in the developed world, with many patients having to wait months to years for non-urgent treatment. I believe that the key to resolving this is by reducing the demand for such procedures; this could be achieved by, for example, improving the overall health of the population, in particular the elderly. Initiatives could be launched that focus on encouraging citizens to be more physically active, as well as addressing the social issues the ageing population face, such as loneliness and depression.