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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Ten years since the Romanow Report: Retrospect and prospect

On November 9, 2012, I provided closing remarks at the 10th anniversary event for the Romanow Report. The event drew key stakeholders from throughout the health care system, including up-and-coming leaders eager to learn from insights of the Honourable Roy Romanow and other invited guests.

The event was an opportunity to reflect on the issues and public expectations that brought about the final report of the Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada. We talked about the report, what had occurred in the 10 years since its release, and what is left to be done.

Romanow's vision, shaped by Canadians ten years ago, is still relevant and alive today. Conference presenters and discussion with audience members illustrated progress in every area of the report themes and pillars over the past decade. There are many examples of innovations, best practices and prototypes needing to be shared in order to continue producing positive change.

However, we have not achieved the substantial transformation in any one area of the report that Romanow and fellow Canadians originally envisioned. While many do understand the potential benefits of an integrated patient/public system, for example, this is not our current reality.

Canadians still see the health system as part of their identity, and the good news is that we seem to value the Romanow vision and have made some progress. The bad news is that our system now ranks about 30th in the world, is not leading to optimal outcomes, and is not financially sustainable.

It is time for all leaders – clinical, administrative and political – to bite the bullet, risk real change and implement integrated transformation that is true to the collective Canadian vision and to our evolving realities.  The Romanow Report was and remains a viable platform to restore the Canadian health system to the top ten in the world.

If you’d like to see some of the presentations from the event, visit CAHSPR’s youtube channel

 Cheryl Doiron, Councillor, Health Council of Canada


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