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Advocacy & Health Policy / Défense des intérêts et politiques en santé


COA Continues to Advocate for Access to Orthopaedic Care Peter B. MacDonald, M.D., FRCSC President, Canadian Orthopaedic Association


hanging the political sphere can be challenging. Recently, the COA continued its efforts to bring our expertise to the government table. We recognize that we bring three key things to our government contacts: 1) We represent an important base of practical experience in improving access to care for our patients; 2) We speak with a collective voice, allowing government officials to deal with one group instead of many; 3) We represent, with our patients, a large group of voters to whom government will hopefully listen. It is in this spirit that the COA conducts an ongoing program of government relations and advocacy efforts.

(The Honourable) Jane Philpott’s office, as well as from the Health Canada Policy Unit. The primary objective was to offer the COA and its members as collaborative resources to the government in its quest to tackle improvements in access to care. Highlighting a number of innovations Through input received from COA which began as grassroots efforts by local health teams, messaging focused on memmembers, the Access to Care Steering bers’ commitment to improving efficiency, Committee developed an inventory quality of care and patient satisfaction, often of dozens of Canadian innovations while remaining cost-neutral. The discuswhich have improved access to MSK sions also touched on targeted funding and implementation of national standards. care. Commonalities incude: Advisors from both the political and departmore appropriate and timely ment units were invited to visit some of our referral through MSK centres of exemplar Canadian MSK clinics.

excellence, improved allied health or surgical screening of referrals, centralized intake, and use of digital innovations to improve communication and implement virtual clinics.

In 2016, The COA Access to Care Steering Committee enlisted member support in developing an inventory of dozens of Canadian innovations which have improved access to timely and appropriate MSK care. Notable commonalities include more appropriate and timely referral through MSK centres of excellence, improved allied health or surgical screening of referrals, centralized intake, and use of digital innovations to improve communication and implement virtual clinics.

Along with CEO, Doug Thomson, Manager of Development and Advocacy, Trinity Wittman and Government Relations Specialist, Dafna Strauss, I have recently met twice with federal government policy advisors, both from Health Minister

The advisors welcomed the collaboration, and urged the COA to continue to position itself with the provinces for practical healthcare delivery discussions, given that provinces are currently finalizing agreements with Health Canada and determining spending priorities. I have reached out to each of the provincial orthopaedic presidents, and we will continue to discuss cooperative approaches to advocacy. At the advisors’ suggestion, the COA will also pursue relationships with several other national bodies, including the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, a non-profit organization funded by Health Canada, dedicated to accelerating healthcare improvement and spreading innovation. We are committed to pursuing an open dialogue with members, government and other stakeholders. Look out for updates in future editions of the COA Bulletin. If you would like to discuss an MSK advocacy initiative with the COA, please contact

L’ACO continue de promouvoir l’accès aux soins orthopédiques Peter B. MacDonald, MD, FRCSC Président de l’Association Canadienne d’Orthopédie


rovoquer des changements politiques n’est pas simple. Récemment, l’ACO a poursuivi ses efforts pour obtenir une place à la table des discussions gouvernementales. Nous offrons trois atouts majeurs aux représentants gouvernementaux : 1) nous représentons un bassin important d’expérience pratique dans l’amélioration de l’accès aux soins pour nos patients; 2) nous nous exprimons d’une même voix, COA Bulletin ACO - Spring / Printemps 2017

ce qui permet aux représentants gouvernementaux d’interagir avec un seul organisme; et 3) nous représentons, avec nos patients, un groupe important de constituants, qui auront, espérons-le, l’oreille du gouvernement. C’est dans cet esprit que l’ACO poursuit ses activités de relations gouvernementales et de défense des droits et intérêts. En 2016, le Comité directeur de l’ACO sur l’accès aux soins orthopédiques a demandé aux membres de l’aider à dresser l’inventaire de dizaines d’innovations canadiennes qui ont per-

COA Bulletin #116 Spring 2017  

The Spring 2017 edition of the COA Bulletin, the official publication of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association.