October 22, 2019
Canadian Doctors for Medicare (CDM) congratulates the Liberal Party of Canada on winning re-election, and urges the new government to make a clear and substantial commitment to implementing universal public pharmacare in its 2020 federal budget.
“Canadians were starkly divided on the question of which party should represent them, and this was projected to be a very close race,” said CDM Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza. “However, one issue that we know most Canadians agreed on is the urgent need for fair and affordable drug coverage. We are encouraged by the fact that the Liberal Party of Canada will have the opportunity to continue its work on implementing national pharmacare, and we call on them to make a broader and more detailed plan their first order of business.”
Health care was known to be a priority issue among Canadian voters. A CBC poll released in June identified health care as a “top-of-mind” issue among Canadians surveyed, alongside climate change and the cost of living. 67.8% of respondents to a Mainstreet poll published in August also called for national pharmacare, agreeing that a system through which the federal government pays for prescription drugs is something that Canadians should have, regardless of the cost to government. 78% of voters in an Angus Reid poll published on Friday supported a national pharmacare program, with 46% of voters favouring the Liberal Party plan.
During the election campaign, the Liberal Party acknowledged the work of the Advisory Council for the Implementation of National Pharmacare, which was created by the previous Liberal Government as part of the 2018 Federal Budget. Based on academic evidence, international best practices and consultation with Canadians, the Advisory Council enthusiastically endorsed a universal single payer model for national pharmacare in its final report in June of 2019.
“The Liberals have said that their pharmacare plan is guided by the work of the Advisory Council,” says Dr. Raza. “The initial investments they made as part of the 2019 budget are in keeping with the Council’s recommendations. However, these are small steps towards a much larger goal, and Canadians deserve to know what path the Liberals plan to take to get there. The Advisory Council’s work has shown us that universal public pharmacare is the most efficient and effective way to provide fair and affordable drug coverage for people across Canada.”
Canadian Doctors for Medicare provides a voice for Canadian doctors who want to strengthen and improve Canada's universal publicly-funded health care system. CDM advocates for innovations in treatment and prevention services that are evidence-based and improve access, quality, equity and sustainability.
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