(Ottawa) – The Canadian Health Coalition issued an urgent alert to Canadians in light of today’s news that the Harper Government is terminating its funding of the Health Council of Canada.
“This announcement signals Harper’s intention to withdraw essential federal leadership from health care. Medicare will not survive the withdrawal of the guardian of national standards and universal access to care for all Canadians regardless of where they live. This could mean the end of Canada’s last and most loved social program,” said Michael McBane, National Coordinator of the Canadian Health Coalition.
The Health Council of Canada was formed in 2003, following the Romanow Commission to provide the people of Canada with accountability, oversight, planning, and national coordination for their health care system. It’s achievements to date include the lowering of wait times and encouraging innovation in the public health care system to ensure access to care across the spectrum and across the generations.
“National surveys consistently show that Canadians and the provincial and territorial governments want federal leadership,” added McBane. “Instead Harper is choosing to cut and run – cut the funding and then put distance between his government and universal health care.”
“Universal health care in Canada is about to fragment into 14 separate systems operating independently from each other. The federal government is running away from its essential role as guardian of national standards and universal access to care for all Canadians regardless of where they live,” said McBane.
The Canadian Health Coalition is calling on Provincial and Territorial Premiers to step into this leadership vacuum, protect the vision of a national strategy and maintain the financial support of the Health Council of Canada until such time as the federal government can be convinced to return to its essential leadership role, or until Canadians choose a new Federal Government.
Michael McBane, Executive Director Canadian Health Coalition