National Union releases a Voter's Guide factsheet on pharmacare. With 3 of the 4 national political parties committed to pharmacare, the outcome of this election will be critical to the future of public health care in Canada.
Ottawa (4 October 2019) — Will this be the election that Canadians finally get universal pharmacare? There has never been such clear commitments towards pharmacare from the 3 national political parties, with the Conservatives remaining opposed.
The unfinished business of medicare
For decades, every credible study and report on the future of health care in Canada has recommended universal pharmacare. Yet Canada still remains the only country with universal health care that does not include pharmacare. This election has put pharmacare firmly on the agenda and it is important to know what each party is promising and what is missing. This fact sheet has the key information to help you make an informed choice at the ballot box https://nupge.ca/publications/pharmacare-track-record-campaign-promises
Canada cannot afford to do nothing
Not implementing universal pharmacare is costing Canadians as much as $11 billion per year and also means that not every person is covered under our current inefficient patchwork of coverage. Even if the savings are closer to $4 billion per year, which is one of the most conservative estimates, re-investing even a fraction of these savings into public health care would be a game changer. The savings would not only be in terms of lower cost medications, pharmacare would also benefit the estimated 10% of patients who currently claim not filling a prescription due to cost.
Health Care must be a priority
Consistently and for years, Canadians polled have put health care at the top of their list of concerns. This election we have a chance to choose a government which shares that priority, to the point of implementing universal pharmacare over the opposition of large pharmaceutical companies and private insurers, who both find the current system highly profitable. It is time that governments listened to the people, not the lobby groups working on behalf of these large corporations.
Pharmacare advocacy must continue
The National Union has been fighting hard for universal pharmacare for a long time. We also recognize that we must continue to fight. Yes, this election is a historical first with such support for pharmacare, but we know that some parties are quick to retreat from promises and that we must continue to work with our friends and allies to maintain the pressure until we succeed. Some of the promises in the party platforms are vague, as you will see from the Voter's Guide. This means we can applaud the commitment but still continue our work to ensure that commitments do not waiver after the votes are counted.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE