Former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page and public health care advocates call for a new Health Accord.

Canada-wide: Today at 49 events across the country, Canadians are calling for the federal government to negotiate a new Health Accord. Stable funding and universal quality of health care for all Canadians require a new Health Accord.

In Ottawa, Kevin Page spoke to Parliamentarians about the importance of a health accord in terms of the fiscal stability and sustainability of the health care system as intended by the Canada Health Act. CUPE President Paul Moist added his voice to the call for federal leadership in health care.

The Health Accord is an agreement between the provinces, territories and federal government. It provides stable federal funding and sets national standards and goals for improving the system. The recent Health Accord expired March 31st, 2014 and the federal government has refused to negotiate a new accord.

“Canadians are all unwilling to just stand by and watch our health care system fragment to the point where access to care will depend on where you live and your ability to pay. We are standing together today to make clear that we all expect the federal government to take a leadership role ensuring that quality public health care is available to all,” says Melissa Newitt, Interim National Coordinator of the Canadian Health Coalition (CHC).

The expiration of this accord means that funding is currently provided to provinces on a per capita basis with no consideration of need, creating great inequity. It will also mean a $36 billion dollar cut to the federal health transfers over ten years beginning in 2017.

“We expect vision and leadership from our federal government, not a blind eye turned to the management of a health care system for an entire nation,” says Newitt.

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Canadian Health Coalition