Health Coalitions react to Premiers call for increase in Federal funding

(St. John’s, NL): Health care advocates and Canadians across the country welcomed a statement from Premiers Thursday afternoon calling on the federal government to restore the Canada Health Transfer (CHT) to 25% of total health care spending.

“The pro-medicare movement has been calling for this for years,” said Melissa Newitt, Interim National Coordinator of the Canadian Health Coalition. “We are encouraged that the Premiers are now standing with us in holding the federal government to account.”

Polls have shown time and again that there is overwhelming public support universal health care in Canada. This morning, as a show of appreciation on behalf of all Canadians, the Canadian Health Coalition presented the premiers with 25 roses.

“This is a life line,” said James Hutt of the Nova Scotia Health Coalition “25% would mean Nova Scotia could stop cutting services. We could actually start to decrease wait times, improve continuing care and adequately fund mental health.”

Years of neglect by the federal government have led to an erosion of our public health care system and its devolution into 13 separate standards of care.

“All Canadians, regardless of the province in which they live, deserve equal access to health care,” said Mary Clarke, Coordinator of the Newfoundland and Labrador Health Coalition “Newfoundlanders and Labradorians shouldn’t have to drive 8 hours across the Island to get care.”

Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of the Alberta-based Friends of Medicare said: “Albertans, along with everyone in Canada, believe in public health care. This support from the Premiers is long overdue and we are encouraged to have our leaders standing with us as we work to improve health care for everyone in Canada.”

“We are encouraged by this announcement and we will continue to raise our voices, calling for increased investment from the federal government into the public health care system. It is what Canadians, now including our Premiers, expect,” said Pauline Worsford, Chair of the Canadian Health Coalition.

The federal government now stands alone as the only actor with the objective of removing tens of billions in health care dollars.

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