About the CFMSThe CFMS is an organization representing over 8,000 medical students from 15 Canadian medical student societies from coast to coast. We represent medical students to the public, to the federal government, and to national and international medical organizations.
Harold Albrecht, MP for Kitchener-Conestoga, together with the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) hosted a town hall meeting to consult with local seniors, health care professionals, and service providers on preparing for Canada’s aging population.
As the first wave of the baby boom generation is turning 68 this year, seniors will account for about 25% of the population by the year 2031. This nearly doubles the proportion they represent today. With that in sight, the Government of Canada recognizes the necessity of being prepared to properly care for and provide services to our more experienced generations.
Joining Mr. Albrecht on the panel for discussion was Dr. Veronique Boscart, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) & Schlegel Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Seniors Care, and Bryce Durafourt, President of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS), and CMA Board Member.
Approximately 20 participants heard presentations from the panel and posed questions or suggestions regarding addressing the needs of Canada’s aging population.
MP Harold Albrecht noted, “The presentations by Dr. Boscart and Mr. Bryce Durafourt created an environment for lively dialogue and many great suggestions for improvement in our planning for the present and future care of Canadian seniors. It was encouraging to see so many community leaders in Kitchener-Conestoga take an active interest in addressing the challenges relating to the availability of health services across the continuum of care.”
Said Mr. Durafourt, “Canadians need and deserve access to high-quality health care. This is why the Canadian Medical Association is pleased to work with members of Parliament in their communities to hear directly about the growing and evolving needs of our aging population.” He continued, “Hearing from the citizens of Kitchener-Conestoga is a great opportunity for physicians, politicians and constituents to work together toward a strategy that is built around the needs of individuals and their families and a system that puts the patient at the centre.”
Dr. Boscart emphasized the importance of integrated geriatric knowledge in the curriculum of current heath care students and discussed the great work that is being done at Conestoga College. As well, she talked about the necessity of implementing evidence-informed practices and team work in all settings when caring for seniors. “It’s never acceptable to provide suboptimal care because one is older or has a memory problem. Poor practice and dysfunctional team communication can no longer be tolerated. It’s time to clean up, get organized and provide the best care we possibly can to our seniors who deserve nothing less than excellence in our health care system.”