People are Canada’s greatest healthcare resource, but their potential is too often underestimated and under-valued.
Canada needs a National Self-Care Strategy now to:
Practicing self-care empowers Canadians to make healthy lifestyle choices, treat managable health ailments, manage or prevent chronic diseases, and so much more. Prioritizing self-care makes sure people can take better care of themselves, keeping ourselves healthy and our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed.
Even small changes have major impacts. If just 2% of Canadians who sought professional care for mild colds, headaches or heartburn practiced self-care instead, Canada could eliminate more than 3 million unneeded doctor visits annually and free up enough physician time to allow an additional 500,000 Canadians access to a family doctor.
Switching certain prescription drugs to non-prescription status could save an estimated:
$458 million in reduced cost of medicines
$290 million in reduced cost for doctor visits
$290 million in increased productivity and reduced absenteeism
Evidence shows that self-care has substantial health, economic, and social benefits. According to the World Health Organization, self-care increases access to medical care and quality of services, decreases inequities, improves social outcomes, and reduces overall healthcare costs.
After the United Kingdom identified self-care as one of its four National Health Service pillars and instituted supportive policies, use of publicly-funded healthcare services reduced significantly, health and quality of life improved, and NHS patient satisfaction increased.
Read FHCP’s National Self-Care Strategy Blueprint: coming soon!
People are Canada’s greatest healthcare resource, but their potential is too often underestimated and under-valued compared to the publicly-funded healthcare system. Self-care encompasses everything from making healthy lifestyle choices to treating minor health ailments, managing — or better yet — preventing chronic diseases, and more. Self-care literally lets people take better care of themselves, and it is essential to confident, independent, healthy lives."