Canadian Doctors for Medicare congratulates the Hon. Patty Hajdu on her appointment today as the Minister of Health, and looks forward to working with her ministry and government on the implementation of national pharmacare and the strengthening of the Canada Health Act.
The Health Minister’s appointment comes one day after more than 150 national and provincial organizations from all regions across Canada released a joint statement calling on the new federal government to immediately implement universal public pharmacare. The “Pharmacare Now” statement is supported by a diverse coalition representing health care providers, unions, non-profit organizations, workers, seniors and patients from across the country.
“Canadians want fair and affordable drug coverage, and they voted this year for parties that support it,” said CDM Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza. “Medicare itself was created by a minority government like the one we have today. We know that fair and affordable drug coverage will be a vital part of the new Health Minister’s portfolio, and we call on the 43rd Parliament to fulfill the promise of Medicare by creating a universal pharmacare program that will benefit people across Canada.”
The appointment of the new Health Minister also coincides with the closing statements of the Cambie trial, which is currently before the Supreme Court of British Columbia. By challenging a provincial ban on private clinics charging patients additional fees for the privilege of reducing wait times, the Cambie Surgeries Clinic is challenging the central organizing principle of Canada’s public health care system.
“The Canada Health Act protects the rights of all Canadians to access health care based on need, not on ability to pay,” Dr. Raza said. “The Cambie trial threatens to set a precedent that could open the door to a two-tiered, U.S. style health system that benefits the privileged few at the public’s expense.”
The Hon. Ms. Hajdu was elected to represent the riding of Thunder Bay—Superior North in the 2015 federal election. She was appointed the Minister of Status of Women in November of 2015, and then as Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour in January of 2017.
Canadian Doctors for Medicare (CDM) 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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