The Health Action Lobby (HEAL) applauds the budget's reaffirmation of the 10-year First Ministers' 2004 Health Accord as well as the focus on several major public health issues. For example, the budget's specific promise of $75 million over five years to facilitate the evaluation and integration of internationally educated health care professionals with the view to ensuring "improved and more timely access to care" for Canadians is a welcome acknowledgement of a critically important issue.  

HEAL does, however, remain concerned that despite several allocations of funding over the past year, a clear path to a coordinated, pan-Canadian approach to health human resource issues has not emerged. While not solely a matter of funding, financial resources are integral to a solution for this 'critical care' issue. It seems evident the amounts allocated to specific initiatives do not include sufficient funds or direction to ensure a comprehensive and integrated national health human resources strategy will be developed.  

HEAL fully recognizes the recent efforts of the government, but urges it to continue its work toward ensuring Canadians receive the care they deserve from the best trained and supported health professionals possible.  

HEAL was formed in 1991 by a group of associations and organizations dedicated to protecting and strengthening Canada's health system. Today, its 30 member organizations represent more than half a million health professionals and consumers.    

For further information:  

Pamela C. Fralick
Chair HEAL
Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Physiotherapy Association
(416) 932-1888, ext 214
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John Hylton CHE
Co-Chair HEAL
President and CEO
Canadian College of Health Service Executives
(613) 235-7218, ext 27
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