Asian Journal

Federal NDP seeks provincial support for national pharmacare plan

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Health Act, which is the legislativ­e framework underpinni­ng universal health care.

The party has promised its proposed plan would make prescripti­on drugs free to Canadians, shorten emergency wait times and save $5 billion per year. In December, provincial and territoria­l premiers expressed hesitation about a national drug program, with some saying they would rather see increased funding to address things like hospital overcrowdi­ng and growing wait times. The premiers told Ottawa they want to be given the ability to opt out if the federal government does go ahead with a national drug plan.

Singh has spoken before about getting provinces onside with a drug plan by beefing up their health-care funding from the federal government, but has not said how much more money they should receive.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised a similar drug program, though the two parties differ on the details, and instructed Health Minister Patty Hajdu to “continue to implement national universal pharmacare” as part of her mandate.

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