Canadian Doctors for Medicare (CDM) is discouraged by the Government of Canada’s insufficient pledge to move forward on universal public pharmacare in today’s Speech from the Throne, and calls on the government to provide details on investments and timelines that are more reflective of its campaign promises now that the 43rd Parliament is in session.
"In addition to providing Canadians with a view of the new government's plans and priorities, this Throne Speech was an opportunity for the government to show its readiness to work with other parties to achieve common goals," said CDM Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza. "Canadians have made it clear that they consider pharmacare a priority, and the government that they elected has failed to address that in detail today."
Canadians overwhelmingly cast their vote for pharmacare in this year's election. A pre-election Angus Reid poll not only revealed that 78% of voters supported the implementation of a national pharmacare program, but also revealed that the Liberal Party's plan was the most popular, with 46% support overall.
Following the election, the New Democratic Party signaled its intention to make universal single-payer pharmacare its first order of business of the 43rd Parliament with the introduction of a private member's bill. The Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare, created by the previous Liberal Government, also endorsed a universal single-payer model in its final report in June of 2019. The Liberal Party pledged during the campaign that its efforts to implement national pharmacare would be guided by the Council's recommendations.
"Without a clear timeline or fiscal commitment, the government has not clearly indicated a desire to act," said Dr. Raza. "We call on the Liberal Government to demonstrate its commitment to work with the New Democrats and other parties, as well as with the provinces and territories, to make the unfinished business of Medicare a reality."
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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