It's time to rethink Canada's health-care model before it suffers any further collapse, says the president of the Canadian Medical Association.
Dr. Katharine Smart said the current model is no longer adequate for the types of patients and the complex issues that doctors are seeing. She said it is resulting in ER closures and physicians choosing to leave their practices.
"We have a health-care system that was designed in the '60s and hasn't seen any really significant systems-level transformation since that time."
Smart said there is an opportunity for a new level of collaboration between Ottawa and the provinces.
"I think if we can get out of our silos and really come to the table in the spirit of co-operation and collaboration we can start getting somewhere."
She doesn't believe privatization is the answer, as it would dilute resources that are already too stretched. And she said Canadians have a fundamental expectation of free and accessible health care.
There needs to be a plan for the future that includes input from the medical profession, she said.
"The reality is we don't have enough resources."