Provinces in Dire Straights over Health Care Accord

Hovering over Canadian citizens’ heads is the upcoming expiration of the 10-year health accord signed in 2004 between the federal government and the provinces.  This accord provided an additional $41.2 billion dollars from the federal government to the provinces to cover high costs relating to home care and drug costs, in addition to a six percent increase in health transfer payments.  The Harper government has recently stated that it will be up to the provinces to find ‘solutions’.  This comment is entirely non-chalant considering the gravity of the matter at hand.  If the federal government removes $41.2 billion dollars in funding the provinces will be in dire straights to come up with solutions to this funding problem.

 

However, at this time no one can decidedly say what the outcome will be.  The accord expires in two years and at this time the heads of the respective provinces are meeting to try to come up with alternative approaches.  Advocates of this separation include the BC Health Coalition who state that “the evidence is clear: public health care is sustainable and the real driver of increases in health care spending comes from out-of-pocket costs for private health services not covered by Medicare, and from inappropriate use of expensive services,” says BCHC co-chair Rachel Tutte.”  On the other side of the fence are groups such as Dr. Vanessa Brcic of the Canadian Doctors for Medicare, she states that “abandoning leadership is not the way to improve the sustainability of our health care system, and it contradicts the values of Canadians.”

 

In the end, the matters of healthcare will be left up to the politicians.  We the Canadian citizenry must ensure that we become involved in this process by discussing the matter with our local MP’s so that we can fight for the best possible “solution” to this problem and ensure that the health care legacy of Canada still exists to support the generations to come.

Article by: Laura Necochea