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For health equity, docs prescribe public health care


August 14, 2012


YELLOWKNIFE, NWT - An equitable health care system is built on the foundation of a public, non-profit system, according to research by Canadian Doctors for Medicare.

Taking Action on Health Equity in Canada, a new policy document by Canadian Doctors for Medicare builds on the excellent CMA papers and focus on equity at General Council, but goes further to call for action needed by governments for an equitable health care system.

“We can’t have an equitable health care system if it’s based on Canadians’ ability to pay instead of their heath care needs – we must address the inequities created by for-profit delivery of health care, and lack of access to life-saving medications,” said Dr. Vanessa Brcic, executive board member of Canadian Doctors for Medicare.

The policy paper outlines six essential areas where the CMA can play an essential role in advocating for conditions that would improve health equity in Canada:

  • work with governments to expand capacity in the public, not-for-profit delivery of health care instead of for-profit, private care.
  • call for the federal government to return to the table with provinces and territories to negotiate a strong 2014 Health Accord.
  • call on the federal government and provinces to develop a national Pharmacare program
  • continue to advocate with other health professionals for the reversal of the cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program.
  • advocate that the federal government restore funding to research that addresses the social determinants of health in its 2013 budget.
  • demand that the federal government should commit to a stronger role in accountability and enforce the Canada Health Act.

“An equitable health care system is also a sustainable one,” said Dr. Bob Woollard, board member of Canadian Doctors for Medicare. “Evidence shows that a public health care system costs less and produces better outcomes for patients – we need our leaders, both among physicians and politicians – to recognize that the right thing to do is the smart thing to do.”

The full report can be found at




Sean Meagher, Executive Director

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Alissa Von Bargen, Project Manager

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