CARP’s Open Letter to Prime Minister re: Medicare

“Take action!” This is CARP’s firm message to you, Mr. Martin, and your government in response to the Supreme Court’s decision on Medicare in Quebec, Alberta’s “Third Way” in health care and the springing up of private clinics. A trend is definitely sweeping the country and only by dealing with the issues causing it will it be stopped.

It would appear that Ottawa lacks a vision or plan to prevent such a trend from becoming a serious threat to our national public health care system and to the assurance that Canadians will receive equality of care. The public perception is that Ottawa is sitting back while provinces are bending the Principles of the Canada Health Act. Increased funding is important, necessary and welcomed. But, funding without a plan and accountability on how it is spent is not productive.

Clearly the social environment has changed since the Canada Health Act was adopted. There is a growing – and aging – population. Major technological innovations and pharmaceutical advancements have been made. Moreover, the Act does not cover a range of what have become essential health care sectors such as home and community care and long term care facilities. ese factors cannot be ignored. Neither can the right of all Canadians to quality health care.

Ottawa must exercise its political clout and responsibility immediately by taking the lead in a collaborative process with First and Health Ministers to develop practical alternatives to a multi-tiered system. Drifting into a multi-tiered system as a solution to gaps and flaws in the current system will compromise care for those who can’t afford to pay. This would be in contradiction to the Principle of Universality in the Canada Health Act.

Please call a summit of First and Health Ministers before it’s too late. Let’s not wait until the system as a whole collapses. Let’s not wait for the election to make it an issue. CARP members look to you as Prime Minister for action now.

For further information, please contact:
Judy Cutler/Bill Gleberzon
Co-Directors of Government & Media Relations
416 363-8748 ext. 241
[email protected]