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4 ways to improve Canadian healthcare

Healthcare is the purview of the provinces in Canada, but health leadership—setting big-picture goals, helping achieve best practices across the country and providing long-term, sustainable funding models—is the role of the federal government. As the federal election campaign wages, Canadians should be pressing federal political parties to take a leadership position on the healthcare file. Primary care, in particular, could benefit from increased national dialogue. If we want to improve healthcare in Canada, primary care is a good place to start.

Evidence shows that the best healthcare systems in the world are founded on a strong primary care system—practices of family doctors, nurse practitioners and others who serve as the first (and ongoing) point of contact for patients. Canada has been a world leader in many aspects of primary care for a long time, and the last 10 or 15 years have seen some important changes, mostly for the better. There are more primary care providers than ever before, they are increasingly working in multi-disciplinary teams and more of them use electronic medical records—all factors that are linked to better outcomes for patients.

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