In support of Ian McLeod’s recent letter “Health care tsunami looms,” I would like to expand on these thoughts related to Canada’s future health care system.
I currently work in community care and have also been privileged to experience acute care, residential care, and public health. I base this letter on my personal and professional values of compassionate and holistic care of others.
Our health care has traditionally and continues to focus on acute care services. This is obviously not effective or sustainable.
What Canadians need is a shift in health care to primary care services. A health care model that supports preventative care is vital. This will offer safer and higher quality care.
The system should also emphasize education and interventions to help people take responsibility for their health.
New organizational models and funding must be developed in order to reform primary health care accordingly.
By 2031, 25 per cent of Canada’s population will be 65 years and older. Beyond our aging population, we need to consider the huge number of individuals that live with chronic and life-limiting diseases. Canada’s near future death rate is going to hit hard.
Currently, most health care sites, programs and professionals are swamped.
McLeod made reference to people in acute care moving to palliative service. For clarification sake, it doesn’t exactly work that way.
Many of these people do require hospitalization for varying treatments, but there are many challenges to properly supporting this group of people.
Many individuals facing life-limiting illness do so without support, unaware of available services.
Some connect with community-based palliative/hospice care that offers excellent holistic support and/or system navigation.
The Canadian Senate (2010) classifies palliative nursing as, “intensely human and caring.”
We help people (and their families) live in the midst of dying. Unfortunately, related care programs are bursting at the seams.
Best health care to do list:
Expanded community integrated care services to case manage chronic and life limiting diseases that can be better managed via clinic or home through community services (rather than acute/EDR re-admissions).
Improved transitional care and care collaboration between health care professionals.
Funded education that will allow health care professional’s (HCP) to expand their scopes of practice (to cope with HCP shortages).
Improved access to care services.
Public friendly education and information services.
An emphasis on wellness.
An attitude of gratitude for all involved.
Giselle White, BSN