Canadian Nurse’s focus on international issues is timely as commissioners are reflecting on recent findings from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that compare Canada’s health system performance to other countries.
Many Canadians are worried about the state of health care. Research from the OECD fuels that concern, drawing attention to Canada’s long wait times, high rates of in-hospital adverse events, and high cancer mortality rates for women. And the growing gap between Canada’s rich and poor has pushed inequality above the OECD average — troubling news, given that we know those larger disparities are associated with poorer health outcomes.
The National Expert Commission discussed these and many other issues at our December meeting in Ottawa. We heard early findings from three researchers who conducted syntheses to inform the Commission’s work. We examined input from the YMCA public consultations and roundtables held with nurses, other health professionals and government officials from Victoria to St. John’s to Toronto to Yellowknife. And we received ideas from many of you through our call for submissions — thank you! We also hosted webinars (in English and French) on nursing specialty knowledge, and met on Parliament Hill with senators, MPs and senior staff in the prime minister’s office.
With all these pieces coming together, commissioners have been giving intensive thought to what’s needed to help transform the health-care system. We meet again this month in Montreal to talk through all our findings and narrow in on recommendations for the final report, which will be released at the CNA biennial convention in June 2012.
Michael J. Villeneuve, RN, M.Sc.
This column originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of Canadian Nurse. Reproduced with the permission of the Canadian Nurses Association.