It’s time for a new Health Accord, says public health advocates on this second anniversary

Ottawa, Ontario: Two years ago today, Canada’s last Health Accord expired. Now with the new Liberal government’s commitment to begin renegotiating a new Health Accord with the provinces and territories, health advocates are calling for strong commitments to protect, strengthen and expand public Medicare for all.

“Now is the time that we need strong federal leadership,” says Adrienne Silnicki, National Coordinator, Canadian Health Coalition. “The Federal government has an opportunity to dream big and create new national programs that will provide everyone with a full continuum of care from cradle to grave. We could have new programs like a national public drug plan and a national seniors care strategy.”

Perhaps most timely, advocates are calling on the federal government to recommit themselves to the principles, criteria and enforcement of the Canada Health Act. “Recently we’ve witnessed the passing of Bill 179 in Saskatchewan and Bill 20 in Quebec, both of which create financial barriers to accessing care for those unable to pay. British Columbia is going to court in June to defend public health care from a doctor who wants to charge patients for medically necessary services,” says Silnicki. “With a federal government committed to the Canada Health Act and willing to lead, we’d see fewer attacks on Medicare and more support to strengthen our public, single-tier system. That’s what Canadians want and need.”

The full letter sent to Minister Philpott is here.

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