Healthcare: CMA chief pushes national staff tracking system

A national health care worker tracking system — with information on what training they have, where they are and what their career plans are — would make a ‘meaningful difference’ to meeting future staffing challenges, the president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) says.

Speaking to CTV’s Your Morning on Thursday, Dr. Katharine Smart said the healthcare system is facing a serious human resources « crisis », which she says is largely due to a lack of planning.

With much of the staffing data siled across the country, Smart said having a national “lens” on who is needed in the system and where would help with future planning.

« Part of the reason we’re here today is that we didn’t plan well, and now all of a sudden we’re caught with no redundancy in the system, » she said.

This lack of planning, along with « huge attrition » among nurses and doctors, has created a « difficult working environment for people », Smart added.

The CMA included the idea of ​​a national health human resources strategy as part of a series of proposed solutions, released Wednesday, to address the current « crisis » in health care.

The CMA proposals come as Statistics Canada’s latest jobs figures, released Aug. 5, show the number of people working in health care and social assistance fell for the second month in a row in July, down 22,000. However, employment in the industry was little changed compared to the same month last year.

There were also 143,400 vacancies in health care and social assistance in May, up 20% from May 2021, according to StatCan.

While some provinces have recently announced efforts to try to bring more health care workers into the system, including internationally trained nurses, Smart said another challenge is trying to retain working people. often in bad conditions.

« So I think if we don’t take seriously understanding and solving the health human resources crisis, we’re going to continue to see a deterioration in the quality of care in our country and we’re going to continue to lose people of the system, and it’s not something we can afford, » she said.

Watch the full interview with Dr. Katharine Smart at the top of the article. With files from The Canadian Press.


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