Canada needs national pharmacare
I fully support Hassan Yussuff and the Canadian Labour Congress’ call for a national, universal pharmacare program.
Rather than have 14 federal, provincial and territorial government drug plans and various private drug insurance plans, I believe it is economically wise to have one national pharmacare program. Unfortunately, though, Canada is the only nation that has a national universal medicare program that with the exception of inpatient hospital care, has no universal drug coverage.
I find it shocking that one in 10 Canadians have no private nor public drug coverage whatsoever. Said Yussuff in a recent opinion piece: “They are among the millions of people in Canada falling through the cracks of the current patchwork system of private prescription coverage with only limited public support.”
And, for those who either have partial or full public drug coverage, it is largely based on age, disability, income, and certain segments of
“In my opinion, a national pharmacare plan should be similar to our Canadian medicare program in that all Canadians should have coverage no matter where you live or work or travel in Canada.”
society (ie. indigenous peoples, veterans, RCMP, Canadian military personnel and others). As for public and private sector workers, employers, unions and staff are faced with the ever-increasing private insurance premiums while other workers lack drug benefits. And, for those Canadians and Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who have the good fortune of having public or private drug coverage, one is faced with co-pays (read the Newfoundland and Labrador Prescription Drug Plan’s access plan) or deductibles or in the case of our province’s seniors 65-and-over drug plan, dispensing fees, and in the case of other provinces, like Quebec and Alberta, for example, premiums.
Unlike MCP, NLPDP in most cases does not provide out-ofprovince coverage. In my opinion, a national pharmacare plan should be similar to our Canadian medicare program in that all Canadians should have coverage no matter where you live or work or travel in Canada.
All Canadians and Newfoundlanders and Labradorians should ask their MPs, MHAs, premier, political party leaders and our federal and provincial ministers of health where they stand? I also encourage all pharmacare advocates that who haven’t done so already to make submissions to the federal government’s Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare and the federal and provincial government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.