Feds Must Negotiate with Provinces on Health Accord

Sandra Azocar under the "Medicare umbrella" (as all Canadians should be) in front of Parliament in Ottawa on December 4, 2012.
Canada’s federal government has refused to negotiate with the provinces on the renewal of the federal health accord. Friends of Medicare is calling on Prime Minister Harper to get back to the table with the Premiers. We are putting forward concrete proposals for how public health care can be maintained and improved across our country.
In December, Nanos Research conducted a survey on behalf of the Canadian Health Coalition. The survey found that an overwhelming majority of Canadians, including 88% of people in the Prairie provinces, think that the federal government has a key leadership role in the future of public health care in Canada. 

The current agreement between the federal government and the provinces on health care will expire in 2014. We need a new ten-year Health Accord that meets the future health care needs of all Canadian regardless of where they live or their income level.

In imposing its own terms on the provinces, the federal government has in effect cut $36 billion out of Canadians’ health care over the next 10 years.

So what should we be asking for from the federal government?

Friends of Medicare, in partnership with the Canadian Health Coalition, is calling for the federal government to take action on the following:

1. A continuing care strategy that would integrate home, facility-based long-term, respite, and palliative care services.

2. A Pharmacare program that provides universal and equitable access to safe and appropriate medication for all Canadians.

3. Adequate and stable funding to the provinces for health care, including the continuance of the 6 per cent annual escalator.

Further, the government must enforce the national standards in the Canada Health Act, including the ban on user fees and extra billing, and enforcement of reporting requirements.