Canadians Lobby for Universal Pharmacare on Parliament Hill
The Alberta Pharmacare Working Group supports the hundreds of Canadians from all across the country who are descending on the Parliament Hill today to fight for universal Pharmacare. Albertans will be joining Canadian Labour Congress representatives to speak with MPs and Senators about a Pharmacare program that won't leave anyone behind.
Pharmacare is the unfinished business of our Medicare system. From protecting the medical wellness of Canadians, to creating billions of dollars in cost-savings through bulk-buying, universal prescription drug coverage is the next step forward for Canada's healthcare system.
Last year, after decades of studies and reports in support of a national Pharmacare program, the Government of Canada responded and created the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare. Stakeholder sessions were hosted across the country, and tens of thousands of Canadians responded to the government's online survey. The Council is now analysing this information and will be providing a report to the government in the spring of 2019.
"Canadians have waited for over 50 years, since Justice Emmet Hall recommended that prescription medication be included as part of Medicare. Now is the time!" says Judy Lederer, President of the Edmonton Area Council of CURC.
In the meantime, wealthy pharmaceutical and private insurance lobby groups have been pushing the Government of Canada for a "fill-in-the-gaps" model of national pharmaceutical coverage. This model would only serve to deepen the system we already have in place, which is comprised of a mess of algorithms that decide who gets coverage and why, based on things like your age, your employment status and where you live.
This system is costly and inefficient. It also leaves 3.5 million Canadians behind. Across Canada, 1 in 4 households can't afford the medications they need.
"The universality of our health care system ends when you are given a prescription. Medications should not be a luxury and Canadians should not have to choose between buying groceries or paying for their medication," says Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare.
The Alberta Pharmacare Working Group applauds the efforts of the many national and local organizations who are fighting to achieve a universal, single-payer pharmacare program - a plan that works for all Canadians.
What can you do? Talk to your networks about the importance of a universal Pharmacare program, set up meeting with your MP, and visit www.aplanforeveryone.ca for more information.
Members of the Alberta Pharmacare Working Group:
Alberta Federation of Union Retirees (AFUR)
Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)
Canadian Health Coalition (CHC)
Council of Canadians, Edmonton, Prairies and North West Territories (COC)
Edmonton & District Labour Council (EDLC)
Friends of Medicare (FOM)
Non-Academic Staff Association of the University of Alberta (NASA)
Public Interest Alberta (PIA)
Seniors United Now (SUN)
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