We in the Kootenay-Columbia are acutely aware of the inequities in our healthcare system. Access has become a source of frustration. Many can’t find a doctor. Long waiting lists exist for health practitioners. Cross province and inter-provincial access to specialists and critical care are wrought with complications. Seniors and caregivers in particular feel the effects of a constrained health care system that shifts much of the burden onto family.
A re-elected Liberal government has committed to ensure every Canadian has access to a family doctor, to mental health services, to affordable prescription drugs and to national Pharmacare. Canada’s health care system is a source of pride, but too many people still slip through the cracks. We’re going to close the gaps in the healthcare system, and make sure people can get the care they need, when they need it most.
As MP Robin will push for federal government pressure on the provincial government to address inequities in access to appropriate care for our Kootenay citizens. She will push for national medical licensing so practitioners are more readily available across Canada. She will advocate for bursaries, scholarships and student loan relief for doctors who choose to move to rural and small communities.
Canada should be a leader in digital technology and virtual healthcare access, communication and management. We need to encourage greater connectivity doctor to patient, doctor to doctor, and healthcare service reporting. With a federal Rural Economic Development Ministry whose mandate is high-speed Internet access across Canada, we will have the infrastructure to deliver patient care remotely. The next step should be virtual healthcare and employing technology to deliver better care.
Support for seniors and caregivers can be achieved by ensuring transfer payments recognize the proportion of older people in our province. The Liberal Party has committed to a Survivor Benefit for seniors. We need to look at a Senior or Disabled Care Benefit program similar to the Child Benefit program – to offset the costs and additional stress on the caregivers, as recommended by the Canadian Medical Association.
Excellent solutions exist. Robin’s goal for our Canada is whole body care - vision care, dental care, medical accessories like hearing aids and substantial focus on preventative care. Robin will work hard toward these initiatives
No one should go without the care they need because they don’t have access to a family doctor or specialist. And no one should have to give up food and heat to be able to pay for health care – whether it’s insulin, inhalers, or mental health support.
Background: Federal Campaign Commitments
A re-elected Liberal government will improve people’s access to health care by:
• Ensuring that every Canadian can easily find a family doctor or primary care team
• Setting clear national standards for access to mental health services
• Continuing to make home care and palliative care more available to those who need it.
We will make sure everyone can afford the medications they need by:
• Implementing Universal Pharmacare so that all Canadians have the drug coverage they need at an affordable price
• Establishing the Canada Drug Agency to make drug purchasing more effective and efficient, and implementing a national formulary with partners to set prices, and
• Bringing down the cost of lifesaving high-cost drugs for families through the Rare Disease Drug Strategy.
Over the past four years, our Liberal government has:
• Helped more people access to home care and mental health care through new health agreements with all provinces and territories, allocating $11 billion in new funding.
• Undertaken the most comprehensive overhaul of drug pricing in thirty years, which will save Canadians approximately $13 billion over the next decade;
• Invested $500 million a year towards the creation of a rare disease drug strategy.
• Undertaken the first steps to building a national Pharmacare system.
In the future, the federal government will have to negotiate with the provinces and territories, as has always been the case, to reach new health accords. When that time comes, who do you want at that negotiation table? Conservative austerity putting in cuts or dedicated Liberals who put your healthcare first.
In the past year we have take big strides toward instituting a national Pharmacare program to extend prescription drug coverage to all Canadians. The proposed system overseen by a Pharmacare Advisory Council, will cover a list of essential medicines to cover most major conditions and represent about half of all prescriptions. The program will be expanded each year thereafter.
The government has taken a leadership role in mental health and meeting the needs of under-served populations with targeted investments in healthy workplaces, housing, the opioid crisis, cannabis education, Indigenous mental health, veterans, inmates and corrections and public safety officers. Money was even earmarked to address and prevent bullying and cyber-bullying.