Blueprint for a National, Integrated Organs and Tissues System Released

Call to Action recommends fundamental system change for Canadians

June 20, 2012 (OTTAWA) – Canadian Blood Services today released Call to Action, a blueprint for the national strategy on organ and tissue donation and transplantation developed on behalf of the OTDT community in Canada. Call to Action is an integrated, cost-shared plan that identifies gaps in the current Canadian system and provides a set of 25 recommendations focused on sustained, breakthrough performance in this country.

In 2008, the federal, provincial and territorial ministries of health (except Québec) recognized the need for a national strategy to address the problems with organ and tissue donation and transplantation (OTDT) in Canada, and directed Canadian Blood Services to work with the OTDT community to develop a plan that better serves Canadian patients and significantly improves on past performance. After extensive consultations, Call to Action was submitted to governments in April 2011.

At the report’s core are strategies that help provinces achieve together what they cannot achieve alone, including key recommendations that experts say will lead to breakthrough performance. Critical gains in accountability, reduction in transplant wait times, and better patient outcomes with more lives saved and/or improved are some of the benefits Canadians can expect from a new system.

“Governments are continuing their leadership with an ongoing commitment to work together to solve the problems with the OTDT system,” said Canadian Blood Services Chair Leah Hollins. “The integrated, national strategy laid out in Call to Action is well aligned with the vision the country’s premiers and other healthcare leaders have been discussing and acting on since the Council of Federation meeting in Victoria earlier this year. Call to Action recommendations highlight how a national system will not only save and improve more lives, but also provide more value for precious healthcare dollars.”

”Governments have already seen the immediate benefits of cross-jurisdictional integration over the past four years since asking Canadian Blood Services to implement change, not just make recommendations,” said Dr. Graham Sher, Canadian Blood Services Chief Executive Officer. “Call to Action is the voice of the OTDT community in Canada. It is a strategy that leverages existing successes, strengths, and investments in the system, and paves the way for the collaboration, coordination, and clear accountability needed for Canada to truly reach its potential.”

For the past year, Canadian Blood Services has been assisting governments as they review Call to Action recommendations and determine what they could mean for provincial health care systems. Having completed this first stage of analysis, governments have asked Canadian Blood Services to develop detailed implementation plans for consideration of a phased approach – one that reflects the unique jurisdictional requirements and fiscal challenges of individual provinces. These plans will be developed with governments over the coming months.

Click here to view the report.

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