Changing the Cultural Understanding of “Elective Surgery” to Drive Government Action
Health & Wellness, Government Relations
Wait times for orthopaedic surgeries had been hitting historic highs and the pandemic only made them worse. Medtech Canada — the national association representing Canada’s innovative medical technology industry – through its Orthopaedic Committee and along with coalition partners, needed to escalate this serious issue to influence and drive government change.
When you’re in pain, there’s nothing elective about “elective surgeries.”
While the government classifies many of these surgeries as elective, for patients in continuous pain, they’re critical and life changing. Long wait times can have devastating impacts on patients, including to their mental health and financial wellbeing.
Fast Track Care – an integrated public advocacy campaign that mobilized the public so they could represent, advocate, and amplify our rallying cry to make the government take notice. In partnership with our coalition of surgeons, non-profits and corporations dedicated to supporting patients needing orthopaedic surgeries, we informed and drove people to take action using digital advocacy, earned media and government relations.
Our efforts in Ontario and BC contributed to the provincial governments’ commitment of more than $300 million each to reduce their surgery backlogs. Thanks to the broad-reaching media coverage (42 million impressions) and strong digital campaign (nearly 500,000 reached) we put pressure on government leaders to make a change (700+ emails to politicians, resulting in Medtech Canada and coalition partners meeting with the offices of ministers of health in both Ontario and BC, and the federal Shadow Minister for Health). Following these moves at the provincial level, the federal government responded to public attention and demand, committing BILLIONS to help shorten backlogs nation-wide.