Making public health care better is more than just slogans. There are five key ways that the federal government can have a major impact on the quality of Canadians’ health care:
National public pharmacare
Because of the prohibitive cost of prescription drugs
patients die each year from just two health conditions–diabetes and ischemic heart disease.Source
Without a national pharmacare program, Canada wastes
per year or
every minute of every day.Source
Thousands of Canadians face medical complications because they can’t afford necessary medications. Every time someone goes back to see their doctor or nurse—or worse, ends up in the Emergency Department—resources are pulled away from other patients. It is far less expensive for Canadians to have pharmacare than to pay for the complications caused by people not being able to afford their medication. Estimated savings are between $4 billion and $11 billion from bulk buying and administration streamlining.
Improving care for older Canadians
The number of hospital beds has declined sharply, from 6.8 per 1,000 people in 1985 to 2.7 in 2010, creating significant barriers to care for seniors.
As Canada’s population ages, families are having a harder time caring for their loved ones at home. A failure to invest in enough long-term care facilities —including enough hospital beds and staff for existing facilities—means older Canadians are denied basic standards of care. All older Canadians deserve to age with dignity, regardless of how much money they have.
Addressing workplace violence
of nurses have had a serious problem with violence in the past 12-months.Source
In 2016, public sector health care nurses worked a total of
The cost of this overtime could hire more than
No one should go to work expecting violence. Not having enough staff leads to higher tensions, staff burnout, and risks the safety of both patients and workers. The federal government can make health care safer by updating legal protections and setting minimum staffing standards across Canada.
Serious investments in public health care
Ontario suffers the worst funding shortfall, followed by Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta. The bilateral deals advanced by the Trudeau government vary only slightly from the Harper plan—adding only 0.07% over 10-years.Source
The federal government is a major funder of public health care, but has failed to keep pace with inflation and growing costs. While other recommendations in this campaign would make better use of existing funding—freeing up resources to pay for other necessary improvements—there is still a need for funding to increase year-over year.
National child care
71% of mothers with a child of two or younger, and 77% of mothers whose youngest is between three and five, are working in Canada’s labour force today.Source
A lack of appropriate and affordable child care options across Canada leads to more parents opting to stay out of the workforce. For those who can’t afford to make that choice, their limits are stretched. At a time when we need more nurses—not fewer—we should do everything we can to support parents.