Dr. Gabe Woollam
MD, CCFP, FCFP, FRRMS
Happy Valley Goose Bay, NL
President's Message.The theme of the cancelled 2020 R and R conference was 'Rural Physician Advocacy'. Our organisation exists because of the powerful advocacy of rural physicians. Over the years, the SRPC and its members have punched above their weight to improve health care for rural Canadians. Through the difficulties of the pandemic, we have continued to make advancements in some important areas of rural health care. These include national physician licensure, virtual care and rural patient transfer.
The need for patient access to COVID-related critical care has highlighted the reliance on and gaps within the transfer systems for many rural and remote communities. The inadequacies of existing medical transportation infrastructure often leave patients waiting in underserved areas for too long and cause stress for patients, families and transferring physicians. Following the release of our joint recommendations for improving patient transfer, the SRPC is planning the next steps in advancing this issue through research and advocacy.
I hope that we can capitalise on the opportunities for change that the pandemic has given us. Canada's post-pandemic rural health care will be better as a result.