Sample letter to your Member of Parliament in Ottawa
First you might need to find out who your MP is – Elections Canada let’s you search by postal code.
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Dear MP FIRSTNAME LASTNAME,
I am writing to you today to recommend improvements to our universal, publicly funded and publicly delivered health care system.
Like many Canadians, I believe that income should not be a barrier to being able to live a healthy life, and that a productive and prosperous economy requires a healthy population. I also know that this system can not function without support from our Federal government.
My main concerns are:
- Federal responsibility for funding Medicare.
- Adding coverage for services such as prescription medication, long-term care, and dental care.
- Enforcement of the Canada Health Act.
- The barriers trade agreements pose to government action on health care.
- The original agreement between Canada and the Provinces was to fund 50% of the costs of Medicare. This has now dropped below 20%. Many provinces will be facing cutbacks if balance is not restored. While the original arrangement of 50% is ideal, a move to 25% would help sustain health care and allow for some improvements.
- Research in the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests we could save as much as $7.3 billion with a national pharmacare program while removing the burden of prescription costs from Canadians. While it is hard to deny the necessity of long-term care, lack of legislation means that the principles of the Canada Health Act do not apply for a growing portion of the population needing this care. A 2014 study by the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences found over 6 million Canadians did not have access to dental care due to prohibitive private costs. Adding coverage for these 3 services would improve the health of millions of Canadians while removing financial barriers to living a healthy life.
- Private clinics offering boutique services and membership benefits are becoming common place across the country. Proper investigation of these and other private services must be undertaken, and the principles of the Canada Health Act must be enforced. Lower income Canadians should not be at a disadvantage to receiving timely quality care due to a lack of oversight on private clinics.
- The cost savings to be realized by a national pharmacare program could be wiped out due to patent protections extended by existing and proposed trade agreements. At a bare minimum, Canada should insist that any proposed agreements such as the TPP not be ratified if it limits government ability to find cost savings and improve the health of Canadians.
I would like to know if you agree with these areas of concern and what actions your caucus as well as yourself personally will be taking to improve upon our universal, publicly delivered health care system.