Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Timely Message Important To Everyone

The video that follows was made by Canadian Doctors For Medicare, who are advocating for a national pharmacare program, something that a country as rich as ours could well-afford. It is a logical and necessary extension of our national healthcare. In fact, according to an article in The National Post,

Canada is one of the few developed countries in the world without a universal pharmacare program, and we are the only country in the world with a universal medicare system that excludes prescription drugs (as if pharmaceuticals are not an essential element of medical treatment). Each year, a staggering 10% of Canadians cannot fill a prescription due to financial reasons.

Instead of a consistent and uniform standard throughout the country, Canada has a patchwork of provincial programmes that may or may not meet people's needs. During the 12 years I lived in Manitoba in the 70's and 80's, for example, I enjoyed its pharmacare coverage which, at the time, as I recall, had a standard deductible of only $80. While things have changed somewhat in the interim, with the deductible now a percentage of family income, it is far superior to what other Canadian jurisdictions offer.

A sharp contrast is found in Ontario, where I now live; only people over 65 qualify for general coverage. Other groups, depending upon their level of poverty or their special needs, can access some coverage through other programmes.

For a breakdown of what is available in the other provinces and the Territories, click here.

That we do not have a national program offering universal access should be a source of shame. Perhaps if we are ever fortunate enough to elect a government that cares more about the well-being of its citizens than it does about bloated corporate profits, things will change.


  1. Lorne, if Harper can have his way Medicare will be privatized. We will pay for doctor's visits and hospital visits.

    Ontario has a better system that people 65 and over get general pharmacare coverage. We have no such thing in Maritimes. Only very poor may get some break but they have to fight for it.

    1. I think the disparities amongst the regions are why we need a national pharmacare program, LeDaro. It would likely be administered by the provinces, but to national standards that provide uniformity throughout the country. And I think you are quite right about Harper. Such a progressive vision will never be realized under his mean-spirited, short-sighted and narrow ideological watch.