Getting our message out there

Getting our message out there

Advocacy activity ramping up as CAR prepares for pre-budget submission and 2017 Day on the Hill

 

Meeting with New Brunswick Health Minister

In Fredericton on Wednesday June 14, Dr. Michael Barry, Vice-President of the CAR, met with the Health Minister for New Brunswick, Mr. Victor Boudreau, in picture below. The meeting was coordinated with the New Brunswick Association of Radiologists (NBAR). Dr. Darren Ferguson, President of the New Brunswick Association of Radiologists, had also intended to participate in the meeting but a scheduling conflict prevented him from doing so. The meeting had been a priority for Drs. Ferguson and Barry since the beginning of the year, and it was gratifying to have the pieces fall into place with the Minister’s schedule.

Bringing the Value of Radiology Message to New Brunswick

Dr. Barry and Minister Boudreau discussed the value of radiology project, the 2017 policy priorities of the CAR, and how the a national association like the CAR can help to enhance the quality and sustainability of New Brunswick’s healthcare system via investment in diagnostic imaging and innovative technology.

The CAR: a resource for provincial needs in Ottawa

Minister Boudreau expressed interest in the possibility of introducing clinical decision support (CDS) pilot projects to the province. CDS is a technological enhancement to the clinical workflow that place radiology referral guidelines at the fingertips of referring physicians. Ultimately, CDS tools will increase the appropriateness of diagnostic imaging. By ensuring that every patient gets the right test at the right time, these tools can ensure patient safety, contribute to a reduction in wait times, and improve the overall efficiency and sustainability of the health system. There are a number of projects planned across the country – at St. Mike’s Hospital in Toronto, in Montreal, in Victoria, and in Saskatchewan – to demonstrate the viability and value of CDS, but they are in need of support from both a financial and political perspective.

The CAR: working in partnership with provincial radiology associations

The meeting with Minister Boudreau was a prime opportunity to build a stronger connection between the CAR and NBAR, and to ensure that our associational advocacy platforms are mutually-supportive. Partnering with provincial radiology associations to support their government relations work with provincial ministries of health will have a significant downstream effect and positive impact on the CAR’s advocacy on behalf of members at the Federal level.

 

Health Action Lobby: Connecting with Ministers of Health in Ottawa

The quarterly HEAL meeting was held on Tuesday June 27, and the CAR was an active participant in the proceedings. There were representatives from three provincial ministries of health on hand to give presentations to the HEAL group of national health organizations. Each presentation focused on the current status and future opportunities that exist to establish a multilateral Health Accord between the federal government and the provinces.

Manitoba: Holding out for funding that will make a real difference

The presentation from Manitoba Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen emphasized the intractable situation for provincial governments who are charged with delivering more health care with ever-decreasing federal funding shares, and a federal government that attached strings to the pockets of funding that were made available during the last round of bilateral agreements. Notably, Manitoba is the lone hold-out among the provinces, and has not entered a bilateral agreement for this budget cycle.

Quebec Minister: “AI is the new oil”

John Fraser, the Parliamentary Assistant to the Ontario Minister of Health, and Dr. Gaëtan Barrette, Minister of Health for Quebec (in picture on right) both offered their perspectives on the confines of the existing bilateral agreements between the Federal government and the provinces. Dr. Barrette spoke at length about the integrated IT network that will be deployed in Quebec, which will facilitate the analysis of outcomes data alongside expenditures data, providing a clearer picture about the relationship between health system investment, quality improvement initiatives, and the patient experience. According to Barrette, artificial intelligence is the new oil in terms of the effect that it will have on the economy and society. For his part, Mr. Fraser expressed that the future of health care in Canada will be defined by collaboration based on outcomes. His comments suggested that the CAR would do well to continue advocating for CDS technology and other programs that integrate radiologists into patient care teams that are value-based and focused on quality improvement.

 

Day on the Hill 2017

Radiology: Seen, Heard, Understood

Building on the success of our inaugural advocacy Day on the Hill in November 2016, the CAR has started the planning for our second annual event. This year, the event will take place over two days – an evening reception for Parliamentarians on Monday, November 6, followed by a day of meetings with individuals MPs and Senators on Tuesday, November 7.

“Our first Day on the Hill was just the beginning of bringing everyday radiology issues, concerns, and needs to members of Parliament.” – Dr. Emil Lee, President of the CAR, who participated in the event last year.

Please stay tuned for more information about the event and projected meetings with Parliamentarians.

Let us know if you would like the CAR office to help you connect with your Member of Parliament.

 

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