(ST. ANDREWS, NB) – At this year’s Council of the Federation, Canada’s premiers recommitted to working with the federal government to build a system of prescription drug coverage for Canada.
“Every year, we take another leap towards building a universal pharmacare plan for Canada,” said Linda Silas, President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU). “With the premiers’ statement today, the momentum is becoming unstoppable.”
This morning, Canada’s nurses hosted premiers and health and labour stakeholders for an informative roundtable discussion on pharmacare, focusing on tackling some of the complexities of implementation. Attendees heard a keynote address from Dr. Eric Hoskins, Chair of the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare. Perspectives on implementation were presented by John Oliver, Member of Parliament and of the Standing Committee on Health, and Kevin Page, President of the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Democracy.
Research shows that Canada’s current dysfunctional system of prescription drug coverage wastes $14,000 health care dollars every minute, while financial barriers to prescription medications result in the avoidable deaths of Canadians every single day.
“There are no two ways about it: a universal, public, single-payer pharmacare plan will save lives while saving billions of health care dollars every year,” added Silas. “We look forward to working with premiers and the Advisory Council beyond this mornings’ event to put our heads together and build the best possible system for Canada.”
Canada’s nurses will continue to advocate for universal pharmacare as the consultation process undertaken by the Advisory Council unfolds.
The CFNU is Canada’s largest nurses’ organization, representing nearly 200,000 nurses and student nurses, and advocating on key health priorities and federal engagement in the future of public health care.