Doctors welcome Ontario New Democrats’ pharmacare plan

Doctors across Canada who have been advocating for the addition of a universal public pharmacare program to Canada’s health care system are applauding the Ontario New Democrat’s (ONDP) plan to create such a program in Ontario, should they form government in the next provincial election.

“While we have been working hard for years to achieve such a plan nation-wide, in the absence of political leadership at the federal level provinces are starting to take matters into their own hands as we have seen in other areas of public policy,” said Dr. Monika Dutt, chair of Canadian Doctors for Medicare.

“As physicians, we see every day the impact that the lack of access to medication has on our patients’ health. With one in five Canadian families reporting they are unable to fill prescriptions due to cost, we need change now more than ever,” said Dutt.

In recent years, support has grown across the country for the implementation of a National Pharmacare program, but so far federal governments have failed to act even though research shows that such a policy could save Canadians billions. There is currently an Independent Parliamentary study on the costing of a national pharmacare program, which is expected to be released in the fall. The House of Commons Standing Committee on Health (HESA) will then produce a report with their recommendations.

“We have not given up on the possibility of a national pharmacare program, and we will continue to work with our allies across the country to push for its creation,” said Dutt.

At their biennial convention just last May, Liberal Party of Canada delegates voted in favour of a motion to not only make universal pharmacare a policy priority, but to have a plan in place within their first mandate.

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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