Health advocates expect progress on priorities after health ministers meeting

VANCOUVER – This week public health care advocates from across Canada converged at the health ministers meeting in Vancouver and called on the ministers to put the heart back in health care.

Advocates wanted to hear ministers call for a full national public drug plan, at least 25 per cent federal funding of health care with strings attached, a commitment to enforcing the Canada Health Act, and a national seniors care strategy.

“It’s a great first step and we’re pleased to see some federal leadership,” says Adrienne Silnicki, National Coordinator, Canadian Health Coalition. “But after 8 years of waiting for federal involvement there are many challenges to accessing public health care and the ministers need to work quickly.”

“We are looking forward to announcements in the next couple of months on regulations and funding for health care. We hope the government will agree to contribute at least 25% of health funding with strings attached to national standards of care,” says Adam Lynes-Ford, Campaigner, British Columbia Health Coalition.

“Bulk purchasing agreements are good steps, but baby steps. We still need a national public drug plan so everyone can afford the medications they need,” says Michael Butler, National Health Care Campaigner, Council of Canadians.

“We hope the federal Health Accord will include a national seniors care strategy that includes a national dementia strategy,” says Sandra Azocar, Executive Director, Friends of Medicare.

The Canadian Health Coalition is a public advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of Medicare.

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