ARCHIVED - Recommendations in Brief

Following 18 months of research and public consultations, the Romanow Commission issued its final report, Building on Values: The Future of Health Care in Canada, on November 28, 2002. The report includes 47 detailed, costed recommendations with implementation time frames that encompass three themes:

  • Medicare requires strong leadership and improved governance to ensure it remains a national asset.
  • The health care system should be more responsive, efficient, and more accountable to Canadians.
  • The health care system requires short-term strategic investments to address priority concerns, as well as long-term investments to make the system more sustainable.

Among the Commissions' recommendations:

  • Establish a Canadian Health Covenant to express Canadians' collective vision for health care and update the Canada Health Act.
  • Establish a new Health Council of Canada to foster collaboration among governments, health-care providers and citizens.
  • Achieve adequate, stable and predictable funding by:
    • setting a federal cash funding floor of 25% of the cost of insured health services under the Canada Health Act by 2005/2006. (Establish a dedicated, cash-only, five-year Canada Health Transfer that includes a built-in escalator provision.)
    • creating five new targeted funds to address immediate renewal priorities:
      • a Rural and Remote Access Fund to improve timely access to care in rural and remote areas;
      • a Diagnostic Services Fund to improve wait times for diagnostic services;
      • a Primary Health Care Transfer to support efforts to remove obstacles to the renewal of primary care delivery;
      • a Home Care Transfer to provide a foundation for a national homecare strategy;
      • a Catastrophic Drug Transfer to protect Canadians when they require expensive drug therapies to remain healthy.
  • Make the system more comprehensive by integrating priority home care services within the Canada Health Act, and improving prescription drug coverage.
  • Improve timely access to quality care for all Canadians by:
    • improving waitlist management;
    • removing obstacles to primary care reform;
    • and increasing the supply of advanced diagnostic services and health care providers across Canada.
  • Encourage a national personal electronic health record system and protect the security and privacy of Canadians' personal health information through amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada.

The report also addressed diverse issues such as aboriginal health care, culturally sensitive access, the impact of globalization, and applied research.

For more information on the Commission recommendation, please see the final report, Building on Values: The Future of Health Care in Canada, available from Government of Canada Publications.

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