On February 17, Friends of Medicare and Manitoba Health Coalition cohosted this webinar to discuss Canada's urgent need for a national, universal drug program, with guests Heather McPherson (MP for Edmonton-Strathcona) and Peter Julian (MP for New Westminster-Burnaby).
The health and economic challenges presented by the COVID-19 public health emergency have laid bare the inadequacy of our nation's prescription drug coverage. Nearly 2 million Canadians lost their jobs in April 2020 alone, the only means of access many people have to filling their prescriptions. Now, more than ever, we must pressure our governments to finally ensure that no one has to suffer avoidable health and financial ramifications because they are unable to access their needed medications.
The federal NDP has tabled Private Member’s Bill C-213: An Act to Enact the Canada Pharmacare Act, introduced by MP Peter Julian. This Bill aims to establish a universal, single-payer, comprehensive and public pharmacare plan. If passed, it would provide the a legal framework for the federal government to negotiate with the provinces to ensure ALL Canadians have access to the medications they need. The second hour of debate and first parliamentary vote took place just hours before this webinar, so we heard a first hand update of it's progress! Watch the recording below.