Canada’s public health care system is a point of national pride and, arguably, the envy of the world. It is also something New Democrats have long championed and supported. We are proud to be the founder of and tireless advocate for medicare.
Unfortunately, years and years of underfunding by alternating Liberal-Conservative governments have devastated our healthcare system in Canada. In 2016 average wait times for medically necessary procedures hit a record-breaking 20 weeks. Out-of-pocket spending on health care in Canada is spiralling out of control. Canadians are paying more for prescription drugs than citizens of other OECD countries, with one in eight Canadians between 55 and 64 saying they cannot afford their medication.
I will continue speaking up—both inside and outside the House of Commons—to urge the Liberal government to invest across the spectrum of healthcare, including home care, mental health care, and palliative care. I will also continue to build on the vision of Tommy Douglas, the father of medicare, by advocating for universal pharmacare in Canada.