Monday January 09, 2017

No Band-Aid solutions: 'Six big ideas' to transform Canadian health care

Dr. Danielle Martin points to the fact that one in every five Canadians do not take their prescribed drugs because of cost. In turn, Martin says Canada needs a national drug program.

Dr. Danielle Martin points to the fact that one in every five Canadians do not take their prescribed drugs because of cost. In turn, Martin says Canada needs a national drug program. (CBC)

Listen 24:07

Read story transcript

Dr. Danielle Martin,  vice president of Women's College Hospital in Toronto, prescribes a drastic health care overhaul in her new book Better Now: Six Big Ideas to Improve Health Care for All Canadians.

One of Martin's key ideas is what she calls "a return to relationships." Martin believes every individual should have a relationship with a primary care doctor, or nurse practitioner, to guarantee personalized and efficient care.

'We know that health-care systems that are focused on primary care are much more affordable.' -Dr. Danielle Martin

Martin says the valuable information gleaned from a long-term patient-doctor relationship shaves significant time off prescribing treatment and delivers higher levels of care overall. She see's every conversation as an investment in future efficiencies.

Dr. Danielle Martin

Author and family doctor, Danielle Martin.

In turn, Martin says it's the family practitioner's responsibility to be an advocate for their patient throughout the rest of the medical network. 

"It's the job of the family doctor, of primary-care team, to be the quarterback for a person's care across the system."

But Martin says there are huge communication breakdowns between players in health care, and facilitating dialogue between medical agencies is key to improving care.

On The Current, Martin elaborates, and speaks to her other big ideas for tackling issues in our health-care system.

Listen to the full conversation at the top of this post.  

This segment was produced by The Current's Willow Smith, and Anna Maria Tremonti.