March 30, 2015
QMI Agency

The Canadian Doctors For Medicare on Monday presented a petition calling for a renewed federal-provincial health accord to Liberal and NDP MPs to table in the House of Commons.

"As a doctor, I work on health care's frontline," CDM chair Dr. Monika Dutt said as she delivered 8,340 petition signatures people from across the country in Ottawa to Opposition health critic Murray Rankin, Liberal health critic, Dr. Hedy Fry, NDP MP Peggy Nash and Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett.

"I am are here today to remind the federal government that our public health care system can decrease wait times, improve health outcomes, and ensure the financial sustainability of Canadian medicare. But these improvements require active participation from the federal government -- and Canadians are demanding it."

The 2004 Health Accord — which outlined spending and set national goals and standards for health care — ended one year ago Monday. The federal government decided not to negotiate a new one, instead vowing to increase health transfers to the province until 2017-18, after which they would be tied to economic growth and inflation.

The Canadian Health Coalition, a medicare watchdog, is planning a Day of Action for a new accord on Tuesday. It argues that without federal leadership, health care becomes fragmented and unequal, making it harder to deal with national crisis such as growing wait times and a lack of long-term care beds.

"In order to achieve equal access to timely, efficient, quality and appropriate care for all Canadians, regardless of where they live, significant change in the current delivery system, as indicated in the 2004 Health Accord, is necessary," Fry said.