OTTAWA â€“ Today, NDP Finance Critic, Peter Julian, MP (New Westminster-Burnaby) tabled groundbreaking new federal legislation, modelled off of the Canada Health Act, to establish a universal, single-payer, comprehensive and public pharmacare plan that will deliver better healthcare for all Canadians.
Bill C-213 follows the recommendations set out in the governmentâ€™s own Hoskinsâ€™ report and will lay out the necessary criteria for provinces to receive funding under the program. Universal public drug coverage has been recommended by commissions, committees, and advisory councils dating as far back as the 1940s - and for good reason.
Canadaâ€™s pharmaceutical prices are 25% higher than the average in other OECD countries. Close to 7.5 million people â€“ either has no drug coverage at all or effectively has no coverage due to high deductibles and co-payments. As a result, nearly 3 million Canadians do not take their medication as prescribed because they cannot afford it - leading to hundreds of preventable deaths in Canada every year.
â€œMany constituents in New Westminster-Burnaby need pharmacare now. For example, Cole and his family are spending over $10,000 per year on medication. In order to make ends meet his father sometimes skips a day or two of his pills, which is incredibly dangerous. The financial and emotional strain on Coleâ€™s family is intenseâ€�, stated MP Julian. â€œPharmacare will make all the difference for this family and many others in our area.â€�
The NDP pharmacare for all plan would reduce overall spending on prescription drugs, which is around $34bn a year, make pharmacare free for Canadians, result in shorter wait times, free-up more hospital beds for those who need them and save more than $4.2 billion on prescription costs.
With universal, comprehensive and public pharmacare, businesses and employees will see their prescription drug costs reduced by billions annually and families will see their out of pocket drug costs reduced by $6.4 billion.
â€œWeâ€™re the only country that has public universal health care that does not include universal coverage for prescription medicine. The consequences of the Liberalsâ€™ refusal to keep their promise on this has real consequences. Right now, across this country, one in every five Canadians isnâ€™t taking the medicine they need because of cost,â€� said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. â€œNo Canadian should ever have to empty their wallet, rack up their credit card debt, or skip the care they need because of the cost.â€�
For more information, please contact Peterâ€™s Parliament Hill Office:
613-992-4214 or Toll-free (Canada): 1-866-599-4999 [email protected]