Federal Budget Must Strengthen and Expand Public Health Care for Albertans

Federal Budget Must Strengthen and Expand Public Health Care for Albertans

The Trudeau government is set to release their next federal budget on Tuesday, March 28 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

OTTAWA The Confidence and Supply Agreement (CASA) signed between the Liberals and NDP last year put the health of people’s teeth, the cost of medication, better long-term care, and the future of our health care system at the centre of federal policy discussion and budgeting.

At a moment when Albertans’ health care access is suffering from the impacts of chronic short-staffing and accelerating privatization by our provincial government, leadership from the federal government is urgently needed to protect and expand the public health care that we all rely on. 

“Friends of Medicare will be in Ottawa tomorrow, watching to see if the Trudeau government’s budget delivers on the many promises they've made around public health care,” said Chris Gallaway, executive director of Friends of Medicare. “Promises such as tackling the ongoing health care staffing crisis, putting an end to privatization schemes, fixing our long-term care, ensuring status for all, tackling the drug poisoning crisis, enforcing the Canada Health Act, and expanding the medicare umbrella to include dental care and pharmacare coverage.”

The recent federal health care funding agreement with Alberta failed to include any accountability measures or strings attached to protect Alberta's public health care from privatization, and much more work is still needed to meet the federal government’s timelines for fulfilling their health care promises contained in the CASA. 

“Last year’s federal budget was good news for Alberta children who saw a brand new federal dental benefit for those under 12, an important first step to implementing a national dental care program,” said Gallaway. “Tomorrow’s budget needs to build on that successful example by expanding dental coverage and taking tangible steps towards funding and fulfilling the other items in the Confidence and Supply Agreement.”

Representatives from Friends of Medicare are in Ottawa this week, meeting with federal MPs and Senators in advance of the budget, and participating in the Canadian Health Coalition Health & Hope Lobby Day and Conference.

Friends of Medicare will be available for comment after the federal budget has been tabled.

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