Federal Budget Could Improve Health of Albertans

Federal Budget Could Improve Health of Albertans

This afternoon, the federal government tabled their 2024-2025 budget. Included is funding for the continued expansion of national dental care coverage, and crucial funding for the roll out of universal, single-payer Pharmacare both key commitments in the Confidence and Supply Agreement between the NDP and the Liberals.

The budget also includes major funding for housing, youth mental health, and school nutrition programs, all important initiatives for the health of Albertans, especially young people.

“Today’s federal budget has the potential to strengthen and expand our public health care system while supporting Albertans to live healthier lives,” said Chris Gallaway, executive director of Friends of Medicare. “We are particularly pleased to see funding for Pharmacare included. Moving forward with universal, single-payer coverage for contraceptives, diabetes medication and equipment would be life changing for so many Albertans.”

Many of the important programs and initiatives in today's federal budget will require cooperation from the provincial government in order to move forward. Unfortunately, the UCP government has previously announced they intend to opt out of a national Pharmacare program, and have tabled Bill 18, designed to rein in the federal government’s ability to fund programs in Alberta, further signaling their unwillingness to work together for the health and wellbeing of Albertans.

“We hope that the provincial government will recognize the potential that these programs have to improve the lives of Albertans, and finally stop playing politics and picking endless fights with Ottawa,” said Gallaway. “There is money sitting on the table that could strengthen our public health care system and provide relief for people during this affordability crisis. This first step towards universal Pharmacare alone could save folks living with diabetes thousands of dollars each year. Let’s get it done.”

Friends of Medicare continues to call on Albertans to email their MP and tell them to get the proposed Pharmacare Act passed and the program underway: friendsofmedicare.org/abpharmacare


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