May 21st, 2024

Health coaltions call for federal action

By Dale Woodard on January 27, 2021.


Seven health coalitions, representing concerned Canadians from PEI to British Columbia, called for stronger federal action to defend public health care ahead of Monday’s opening of Parliament.
“We gather quite often to discuss not only the implications of some kinds of a lack of federal leadership when it comes to our public health care as a country, but also to recognize the differences of what is happening in each particular province when it comes to access to timely and quality health care for all Canadians,” said Sandra Azocar, executive director for Alberta’s Friends of Medicare.
In a release, the coaltions noted a COVID-19 pandemic which “has revealed both the necessity of having a strong public health system, and the devastating consequences of privatization and under-investing in public health care.”
Azocar said it’s seniors who are feeling that the most.
“Seniors have been the ones who have been most negatively impacted and if anything, this pandemic has shone a light on the fact our seniors are not being provided with the care they need across the country. The main reason has been because of the years of privitization. If there’s an area where we see the most impact on what privitization looks like, seniors care in Alberta leads the way, unfortunately, in that privitization of seniors care.”
As such, the coalitions outlined the steps they’d like the federal government to take in its commitment to public health care.
Those include making long-term, substantial increases to the Canadian Health Transfer and negotiating a new Health Accord with the provinces and territories as well as funding with strings attached, ensuring Health Accord transparency and guaranteeing federal funding is invested in public health care and is not used for other purposes such as paying down provincial deficits.
The coalitions are also calling for accountability mechanisms to ensure public funds are not transformed into profits through privatization of health care services and a new Health Accord that would ensure people in Canada could continue to access high-quality public health care including universal Pharmacare on equitable terms, based on their needs and not their income.
“I think as Canadians we’ll all have the opportunity to ensure we demand better from governments, regardless of where we live in Canada. Definitely, the federal government has to take a lead in putting in accountability mechanisms not only to ensure that public funds are not transformed into profit through privitization, but to ensure there are national standards that will ensure and safeguard the quality of care all Canadians should be able to receive,” said Azocar. “I think we’re in a perfect time to push and ensure that the lessons this pandemic has taught us are used to improve our system and to expand our system. I think if anything, this pandemic has shone a light on the need to have a well-funded and well-resourced health care system. There are some governments in some provinces that can’t be trusted to ensure that’s the case. We need leadership from everybody going forward.”

Follow @DWoodardHerald on Twitter

Share this story:


Comments are closed.