CHC Opposes Morneau’s Plan to Limit Access to Drugs
OTTAWA –28 February 2018 — The Canadian Health Coalition (CHC), representing health care advocates across Canada, has called the finance minister’s backing away from a universal public drug plan a betrayal of the expressed desire of Canadians for what has been called the “unfinished business” of Medicare.
“This is a cruel sleight of hand. Millions of Canadians have been waiting decades for life-saving medications and were ecstatic by the Liberals announcement yesterday” said James Hutt, Interim National Director, Policy and Advocacy for the Canadian Health Coalition. “Now today they clarify that the Liberals want only partial drug coverage – not for everyone.”
Instead, the government is establishing an advisory body led by former Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins, whose job now appears to be to decide who to exclude from a drug plan, rather than looking at ways to implement a universal program that covers all Canadians.
Canada is the only country with a public health care system that does not have a national public drug plan for all. Polls have repeatedly shown that Canadians are in favour of such a plan. As well, studies have proven that a single drug plan covering everyone would save up to $10.7 billion dollars per year by negotiating lower drug prices and ending payments to insurance companies. The Liberals’ plans would forgo those savings.
The CHC vows to defend Canadians’ right to a full, publicly-funded, publicly delivered health care system and a national public drug plan for all.