OTTAWA – This week, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh sent lettersto Canada’s Premiers to update them on the NDP’s plan to bring in pharmacare for all and to seek their support to make sure every person in their province or territory is covered.
“New Democrats know that sky-high prices put enormous pressure on the provinces. In fact, prescription drugs are now the second largest spending category in Canadian healthcare, costing more than physicians’ services,” said Singh. “This isn’t right. New Democrats are committed to doing better. We’re proud to be beginning 2020 by bringing forward ground-breaking federal legislation to establish a universal, comprehensive and public pharmacare plan that will deliver better healthcare for all Canadians.”
Today, one-in-five Canadians – close to 7.5 million people – either has no drug coverage at all or effectively has no coverage due to high deductibles and co-payments. As a result, nearly three million Canadians do not take their medication as prescribed because they cannot afford it – leading to hundreds of preventable deaths in Canada every year.
“Pharmacare will save the provinces money and will free up significant room in future provincial health budgets. Even though Justin Trudeau once promised to negotiate a new Health Accord with provinces and territories, his government has preserved Stephen Harper’s misguided cut to the Canada Health Transfer escalator,” added Singh.
In the spirit of cooperation and in the interest of people across the country, Singh is also offering Premiers a full briefing on the federal New Democratic Party’s pharmacare legislation. In addition to bringing-in a national pharmacare program, Singh is also calling on the Liberal government to reverse their cuts in healthcare transfers and increase health funding to the provinces.
“New Democrats believe that the federal government must reverse these funding cuts and make new investments to deliver the healthcare that Canadians need. In the coming months, we have a historic opportunity to work together to finally deliver the strong healthcare services that Canadians need,” said Singh.