VANCOUVER—Our provincial and territorial leaders are meeting at the Council of the Federation to discuss the future of Canada’s healthcare system and Stephen Harper should have been at the table, said Liberal Health critic Dr. Hedy Fry today.
“I am pleased the premiers are showing the leadership needed to transform our healthcare system,” said Dr. Fry. “But Stephen Harper has shown a disturbing lack of engagement, even going as far as refusing to negotiate a new 2014 Health Accord. The 2004 Health Accord, signed by Prime Minister Paul Martin and the premiers will expire in just two years and the federal government has walked away from the table, leaving provinces and territories to fend for themselves.”
At the core of the Accord was an agreement that existing problems with the accessibility, quality and sustainability of universal healthcare could only be solved if all levels of government—federal, provincial, territorial and Aboriginal—work together to identify issues and collaborate on solutions.
“Canada has not achieved the vision and outcomes outlined in 2004; there remains serious challenges in improving prescription drug coverage, increasing the number of healthcare workers and restructuring the system to a model of community-based care,” said Dr. Fry. “These are precisely the areas where federal leadership is needed, and where, under Stephen Harper, federal leadership has been lacking. Canadians share a vision for a sustainable, national healthcare system. It is time Stephen Harper show provincial and territorial leaders, and all Canadians, that he believes in that vision.”