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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.

News Releases

Visit our press release section to view an archive of our news releases, starting with the latest. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed to ensure you're always up to date.

CDM in the News

Interviews, op-eds and reporting featuring our leading experts and advocates. Visit this section for a list of our recent media highlights.

Contact Us

For media inquiries or to book an interview, please contact:

Zareef Ahmad
Canadian Doctors for Medicare
[email protected]
(416) 836-2127

Press Releases

Canadian Doctors for Medicare Applauds Canadian Medical Association on New Policy Discouraging Private Health Care
Jul 23, 2024
Toronto, July 23, 2024 – Canadian Doctors for Medicare (CDM) welcomes the Canadian Medical Association (CMA)’s new pro-Medicare position in its proposed update to the 2007 policy document “Managing the Public-Private Interface to Improves Access to Quality Health Care”. In a stark departure from the original, the new draft policy released today argues against charging patients for health care or allowing duplicative private insurance for services covered under Medicare. “Canadian doctors have spoken: it is clear that private health care is not the solution to the challenges facing our health system,” said Dr. Melanie Bechard, a pediatric emergency physician in...
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Supreme Court of Canada upholds BC Supreme Court's landmark decision protecting public health care
Apr 06, 2023

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Fix Ontario Health Care: An Open Letter to the Premier, Minister of Health, and Minister of Long-Term Care
Nov 04, 2022

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Canada Blood Services should focus on expanding voluntary donation, not sell out our blood plasma supply to for-profit corporations
Sep 22, 2022

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BC Court of Appeal strengthens landmark ruling defending public health care in Canada
Jul 15, 2022

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Nurses and Doctors call for immediate action on pharmacare to help alleviate pressure on hospitals already at their limit
Feb 08, 2022
As another surge of COVID-19 and a crushing health worker shortage once again push our nation’s hospitals to the brink, Canada’s doctors and nurses are calling attention to the need for national pharmacare. Had the federal government followed the advice it received from its own Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare, essential medicines would now be covered under Medicare.
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Liberal government must move forward on pharmacare, say doctors, nurses and advocates
Dec 08, 2021
Canadian Doctors for Medicare, along with the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions and a number of allied civil society organizations and public health care experts, are calling on the Liberal government to fulfill its commitment to implementing a universal pharmacare plan by including it in the upcoming Fiscal Update and Budget 2022. 
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Federal budget misses the opportunity to take a bold step towards universal prescription drug coverage
Apr 19, 2021
Canadian doctors were disappointed that the Federal budget released today failed to include tangible steps towards the implementation of a universal pharmacare plan. While the Liberal government claims they remain committed to pharmacare, this budget fails to include the funding required to make it happen. Canadian Doctors for Medicare has long called for the end to close this glaring gap in Canada’s health care coverage, and the need for pharmacare has never been more urgent.
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BC Health Coalition and Canadian Doctors for Medicare mourn the passing of Joseph J Arvay, O.C, O.B.C, Q.C
Dec 09, 2020
The BC Health Coalition and Canadian Doctors for Medicare were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Joseph Arvay, O.C., O.B.C., Q.C. As Coalition Intervenors in the Cambie trial, Joe was a key member of our legal team. In the legal battle to defend public health care in BC, Joe and his team were our voice in the courtroom.
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A prescription for recovery: Canadian doctors urge Trudeau government to introduce universal public drug coverage
Sep 21, 2020
Toronto (September 21, 2020) - In anticipation of this Wednesday’s Throne Speech, Canadian doctors are again calling on the government to take immediate action to implement universal, public pharmacare. “We are the only high income country in the world with a universal health care system that does not include a universal drug plan. COVID-19 has only heightened the need to close that gap,” said Dr. Danyaal Raza, Chair of Canadian Doctors for Medicare and family physician in downtown Toronto. “Canada also has the third highest per capita drug spending in the world. It is clear that the status quo is...
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CDM in the News

We are so close to a national pharmacare program
Toronto Star (October 26th, 2023)
CDM Board Members Dr. Yipeng Ge and Dr. Meaghan McLaren have published on the importance of holding our leaders accountable to bring universal, single-payer Pharmacare to life.

New health clinic charges membership fee for walk-in services 
Audio: Ottawa Morning with Robyn Bresnahan (October 4th, 2023) 
CDM Chair Dr. Melanie Bechard addresses the emergence of a new Ottawa-based health clinic implementing membership fees, examining its implications for the future of public health care.

Pharmacare bill ‘not where we want it to be,’ NDP health critic says
iPolitics (September 29th, 2023)
CDM Chair Dr. Melanie Bechard is interviewed on the Pharmacare bill that is being negotiated by the NDP and Liberal party, stressing the importance of a single-payer Pharmacare program. 

Privatized health clinics see increase in patients fed up with wait times in public system
CBC News (September 7th)
CDM Vice-Chair Dr. Bernard Ho sheds light on how private clinics are drawing essential resources away from the public system, leading to a concerning depletion of doctors and nurses in public health care services.

Canadians deserve better than fake pharmacare
Toronto Star (August 2nd, 2023)
CDM Chair Dr. Melanie Bechard and CDM Member Dr. Jasmine Gite authored this essential article highlighting the significance of a single-payer universal Pharmacare program. They effectively counter the proposal of a "fill-the-gaps" approach, referring it as "fake Pharmacare."

Health Care Check-up
Zoomer Television (May, 2023)
CDM Vice Chair Dr. Bernard Ho participated in a panel discussion on Ontario’s Bill 60 and concerns over increased private delivery of health care in that province.

Opinion: Let’s re-focus on public health care solutions
Vancouver Sun (May 10th, 2023)
CDM Board Members Dr. Devon Wilton and Dr. Bernard Ho published this must read piece on planning for the future of Medicare post-Cambie.

Canadians were promised universal pharmacare, What happened?
The Big Story, Podcast (March 28th, 2023)
CDM Past Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza speaks on the many twists and turns in the long journey towards drug pricing reform and pharmacare implementation in this podcast episode. 

She paid thousands more than she needed to at a private clinic
CBC The National (March 27, 2023)
CDM Past Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza explains the concerns about upselling at private clinics & how patients can protect themselves.

Western Canada’s experience with for-profit surgery clinics offers a cautionary tale for Ontario
Policy Options (March 21, 2023)
Written by CDM board member Dr. Amit Arya along with Andrew Longhurst and Dr. Lesley Barron

Health funding: Show us more than the money
Toronto Star (March 18, 2023)
Written by CDM board members Dr. Melanie Bechard and Dr. Devon Mitchell

Do private, for-profit clinics save taxpayers money and reduce wait times? The data says no 
CBC News (March 14, 2023)
CDM Chair Dr. Melanie Bechard is quoted

How Healthcare Privatization In Ontario Made The Pandemic Worse 
The Maple (March 13, 2023)
CDM board member Dr. Amit Arya is quoted.

Canada is failing to meet the moment on the cost of medication 
The Globe and Mail (March 8, 2023)
Written by CDM Past Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza and former federal minister of health Dr. Jane Philpott

Drug promotion in Canada still lacks meaningful regulation 
Policy Options (February 10, 2023)
Written by CDM board member Dr. Joel Lexchin.

How do we fix Canadian healthcare? 
Podcast - Open to Debate with David Moscrop (February 7, 2023)
CDM Chair Dr. Melanie Bechard is interviewed

Prescription drug insurance: Private profits or public health 
The usual suspects are lining up against a public system of prescription drug coverage 
Canadian Dimension (February 6, 2023)
Written by CDM board member Dr. Joel Lexchin

The wrong way to fix Ontario’s health-care crisis 
Washington Journal (January 25, 2023)
CDM board members Dr. Melanie Bechard and Dr. Danyaal Raza are quoted 

Why Canada's Healthcare System Is Breaking 
Podcast – Free Lunch by The Peak (January 24, 2023)
CDM board member Dr. Saad Ahmed is interviewed

The pros and cons of Ontario’s move to shift some surgeries to for-profit clinics 
CBC Radio – The Current
CDM board member Dr. Bernard Ho is interviewed

Ontario announces 'bold' plan to expand private surgeries amid mounting concerns 
Ottawa Citizen (January 16, 2023)
CDM Chair Dr. Melanie Bechard is quoted.

Two health-care providers' differing views on Ontario's for-profit plan 
CBC News Network
CDM Chair Dr. Melanie Bechard talks about Ontario’s plan to expand the use of for-profit surgical centres

Public vs Private Care? 
CTV News  - Power Play
CDM Chair Dr. Melanie Bechard talks about Ontario’s plan to expand the use of for-profit surgical centres

Smith’s health-care reforms could put medicare behind a paywall 
Edmonton Journal (January 6, 2023)
Written by CDM board member Dr. Thara Kumar

Forget the video calls. How about chat? Medical websites try to work around Ontario’s new lower fees for virtual visits 
Toronto Star (January 2, 2023)
CDM Past Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza is quoted

Doctors share their 2023 wishlist after a year of ‘crisis’ in Canada’s ERs 
Global News (December 29, 2022)
CDM Chair Dr. Melanie Bechard is quoted talking about the need to invest in high-quality primary care.

B.C. is right to take on Telus Health for putting family doctors behind a paywall 
Vancouver Sun (December 21, 2022)
Written by CDM board members Dr. Janet Conrad and Dr. Devon Mitchell

CBC the National (November 2, 2022)
CDM Chair Dr. Melanie Bechard talks about private pay health care

How can Canada reduce surgical backlogs without expanding privatization? 
CMAJ (October 28, 2022)
Excellent coverage of our first-ever health policy summit

Busting myths about privatized healthcare 
The Breach (October 14, 2022)
Video and transcript. CDM board members Dr. Amit Arya, Dr. Melanie Bechard and Dr. Danyaal Raza are interviewed.

Spending more on private for-profit health care will not solve Ontario’s crisis. Investing in our public health care system, will
Toronto Star (Aug 30, 2022)
Written by CDM board members Dr. Amit Arya, Dr. Bernard Ho and CDM member Dr. Naheed Dosani

Ontario mulls private solutions for public health-care crises 
CBC Radio’s FrontBurner podcast (August 23, 2022)
CDM’s Past Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza outlines some of the negative downstream effects that an expanded role of for-profit health care could have on our system more broadly.

B.C. health minister applauds ruling on private medical clinics but critics say case highlights gaps in system 
Vancouver Sun (July 15, 2022)
CDM Chair Dr. Melanie Bechard is quoted.

Doctor's appeal over right to pay for private health care dismissed by B.C. court
CBC News (July 15, 2022)
CDM Chair Dr. Melanie Bechard is quoted. 

It's time to stop looking to the U.S. for health-care solutions
Edmonton Journal (July 15, 2022)
Written by CDM Chair Dr. Melanie Bechard and CDM member Dr. Kaylynn Purdy

How do we ‘fix’ Canadian health care? Not by forcing patients to pay
Toronto Star (July 7, 2022)
Written by CDM board member Dr. Amit Arya and Executive Director Katie Arnup

Here Are All the Corporations Lobbying Doug Ford To Privatize and Outsource Parts Of Ontario’s Health Care System
Press Progress (May 4, 2022)
CDM Executive Director Katie Arnup is quoted

The federal government caves into Big Pharma on drug prices
National Newswatch (April 25, 2022)
Written by CDM board member Dr. Joel Lexchin

CDM Past Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza speaks about the 2022 Federal Budget and pharmacare
(Interview starts around 26:10)
CBC's Canada Tonight (April 6, 2022)

Privatization is not the answer. Solutions for our ailing health care system are hiding in plain sight
Healthy Debate (March 30, 2022)
Written by CDM Chair Dr. Melanie Bechard and CDM board member Dr. Jasmine Gite

Lack of pharmacare in Canada has been a hard pill to swallow, for far too long
Ottawa Citizen (March 29, 2022)
Written by CDM board members Dr. Jasmine Gite and Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth

The Saturday Debate: Does COVID show Canadian health care should have more private competition?
Toronto Star (November 6, 2021)
Written by CDM Past Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza and Dr. Danielle Martin 

The federal government is out of excuses: It’s time to get serious about pharmacare
The Conversation (September 28, 2021)
Written by CDM Vice Chair Dr. Hasan Sheikh

Election Results 2021: What Trudeau’s Win Means for Health Care in Canada
Better Health Magazine (September 23, 2021)
CDM Chair Dr. Melanie Bechard is quoted

After 15,000 deaths in long-term care across Canada, here’s an analysis of what parties are promising this election
Hamilton Spectator (September 17, 2021)
Written by CDM board member Andriy Katyukha as well as Dr. Amit Arya and Dr. Naheed Dosani from Doctors for LTC Justice

Reining in Drug Prices, Before Pharmacare Slips Away
Broadbent Institute (September 2, 2021)
Written by CDM Past Chair, Dr. Danyaal Raza

Controversial Alzheimer’s drug highlights concerns about Health Canada approval process
The Conversation (July 28, 2021)
Written by CDM Board Member Dr. Joel Lexchin

Cambie Surgery Centre's appeal of 2020 court ruling prioritizes profits over progress
Vancouver Sun (June 18, 2021)
Written by CDM Chair Dr. Melanie Bechard and BCHC Co-Chair Edith MacHattie

Doctors slam Liberals for putting national pharmacare on back burner in latest budget
Canadian Press (May 11, 2021)
CDM Chair Dr. Melanie Bechard is quoted

National pharmacare a key element missing from Freeland budget
Toronto Star (April 20, 2021)
Written by CDM Chair Dr. Melanie Bechard and Executive Vice Chair Dr. Hasan Sheikh

When will the Liberal government keep its promises on national pharmacare?
Toronto Star (March 6, 2021)
Written by CDM Board members Dr. Bernard Ho, Dr. Osman Raza and Andriy Katyukha

Vaccines, prices and a pandemic
Healthy Debate (February 2, 2021)
Written by CDM Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza

Private virtual health services are booming in a ‘policy vacuum’
Toronto Star (January 17, 2021)
CDM Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza is quoted

Tight controls on COVID-19 vaccine may limit queue-jumping for the well connected
CBC News (December 16, 2020)
CDM Board members Dr. Joel Lexchin and Dr. Monika Dutt are quoted

When it comes to our health care, Albertans will not be silenced
CBC Opinions (November 17, 2020)
Written by CDM Board Members Dr. Thara Kumar and Kavya Anchuri

Private COVID-19 testing proves we are not all in this together
Toronto Star (October 14, 2020)
Written by CDM Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza & CDM Member Dr. Naheed Dosani

Is pharmacare worthy of the throne?
CBC Radio's The House (September 18, 2020)
CDM Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza was interviewed about national pharmacare in advance of the throne speech

Cambie court decision a victory but health care still requires changes
Toronto Star (September 14, 2020)
Written by CDM Board Member Dr. Monika Dutt and Ed Broadbent

Bill 30 gives Albertans health care that's profit-driven instead of patient-driven
Edmonton Journal (August 6, 2020)
Written by CDM Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza and board member Dr. Thara Kumar

Surgical backlog must not be fixed at the expense of the healthcare system
Healthy Debate (August 4, 2020)
Written by CDM Board Member Dr. Thara Kumar and CDM member Dr. Lesley Barron

COVID-19 highlights an urgent need to expand access to healthcare for all
National Newswatch (June 14, 2020)
Written by CDM Board Member Dr. Ritika Goel, CDM Member Dr. Arnav Agarwal, and Mac Scott as part of the the Healthcare for All National Coalition.

Let’s keep profit out of long-term care
Toronto Star (May 6, 2020)
Written by CDM Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza and member Dr. Amina Jabbar

COVID-19 crisis lays bare the importance of universal medicare
iPolitics (April 17, 2020)
Written by CDM Board Members Dr. Melanie Bechard and Dr. Thara Kumar

The mobile health care app touted by the Alberta government has flaws
Maclean's (April 14, 2020)
Written by CDM Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza and Board Member Dr. Jillian Ratti

A rescue package includes expanding medicare
Toronto Star (March 25, 2020)
Written by CDM Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza and Dr.Hasan Sheikh

How labour policy in both Canada and the U.S. affects the spread of coronavirus
Maclean's (March 13, 2020)
Written by CDM Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza and Dr. Kate Hayman from the Decent Work and Health Network

Canada’s publicly funded health system under threat: Three things you should know about the Charter challenge
The Province (March 4, 2020)
Written by CDM Board Members Dr. Rupinder Brar and Dr. Richard Klasa

How a B.C. court case over doctors’ rights to privately charge extra fees could endanger Medicare
The Globe and Mail (February 22, 2020)
Written by CDM Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza

Toronto parents of baby needing $2.8M drug turn to Swiss drugmaker's dose lottery as a last resort
CBC News (December 31, 2019)
Featuring quotes from CDM Board Member Dr. Joel Lexchin

Private pay won't reduce wait times
Winnipeg Free Press (December 19, 2019)
Written by CDM Board Members Dr. Rupinder Brar and Dr. Richard Klasa

Launch of doctor app a wake-up call for Saskatchewan's health system, says expert
CBC News (December 4, 2019)
Featuring quotes from CDM Board Member Dr. Melanie Bechard

The cautionary tale of Cambie and Australian health care
The Toronto Star (December 3, 2019)
Written by CDM Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza, Dr. Bob Bell and Stefan Superina

Doctors worried about Alberta government’s proposed cuts, changes to compensation
Global News (December 3, 2019)
Featuring quotes from CDM Board Member Dr. Jillian Ratti

National pharmacare—the time is now
Maclean's (November 27, 2019)
Written by CDM Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza and the Hon. Dr. Jane Philpott

What's at risk in the B.C. Supreme Court hearing on health care? The future of our system
The Globe and Mail (November 22, 2019)
Written by CDM Board Member Dr. Melanie Bechard and Dr. Ali Damji

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care
CTV News (November 17, 2019)
Featuring quotes from CDM Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza

On World Diabetes Day, let’s commit to fair and affordable drug coverage
North99 (November 14, 2019)
Written by CDM Board Member Dr. Thara Kumar

Universal health care on trial: What you need to know about a historic Charter challenge in B.C.
The Globe and Mail (November 12, 2019)
Featuring quotes from CDM Board Member Dr. Rupinder Brar

New Liberal minority must keep national pharmacare promise
The Toronto Star (November 7, 2019)
Written by CDM Board Member Dr. Thara Kumar

Seeing a family doctor just got even harder in Ontario
The Conversation (October 23, 2019)
Written by CDM Board Member Dr. Joel Lexchin

What a Liberal minority government will mean for the health of Canadians
The Conversation (October 22, 2019)
Written by CDM Board Member Dr. Joel Lexchin

Experts on pharmacare and the opioid crisis say important healthcare issues are missing from political platforms and debates
CBC Metro Morning (October 9, 2019)
On-air interview with CDM Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza

Can any of the federal parties pull off a national pharmacare program?
CTV Your Morning (Octber 8, 2019)
On-air interview with CDM Chair Dr. Danyaal Raza