Federal NDP seeks provincial support for national pharmacare plan
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.