Doctors applaud working group’s call to expand core health benefits for low-income Ontarians
Toronto – A report released today from Ontario’s Income Security Reform working group is winning praise from Canadian doctors. The report, titled Income Security: A Roadmap for Change, outlines a comprehensive list of recommendations to expand and enhance Ontario’s income security system.
The recommendations include making essential health benefits available to all low-income people, including prescription drug coverage to adults 25 to 65. If instituted, along with the planned Ontario’s new OHIP+ program for prescription medication for children and youth up to the age of 25, this would dramatically improve access to medications for Ontarians.
“As a family doctor, the high cost of prescription drugs is a constant feature of my practice. I am acutely aware that when I prescribe a medication to a patient, the associated costs and inadequate public coverage result in medical conditions that go untreated,” said Dr. Danyaal Raza, chair of Canadian Doctors for Medicare. “While the best solution is to create a universal pharmacare program nation-wide, expanding coverage for low-income Ontarians is an important step forward.”
The report also recommends expanding Healthy Smiles Ontario to adults aged 18 to 65 and adding dentures to the benefit as well as designing new vision and hearing benefits for low-income individuals and families.
“A truly universal public health care system must address all health needs, including dental, vision and hearing care. Ontarians end up in emergency rooms every day for conditions that could have been prevented with access to necessary medications or preventative dental care. These types of policies make sense not just for the health of Ontarians, but to help manage health care system costs,” said Raza.
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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.