When Tommy Douglas introduced universal healthcare to Canada, his vision was for a complete, head-to-toe, comprehensive healthcare system that lefts no one falling through the gaps. Canada is the only developed country in the world with a universal health care system that doesn't include universal coverage of prescription drugs.
Being able to see a doctor does not help if one cannot afford their medication. I have met a senior, who at 80 years old, must blend all their food to survive because they do not have teeth. Mental health support is inaccessible to too many people, often with devastating impact. It should be a no-brainer that a complete healthcare system includes prescription medication, dental care, vision care, and mental health support. With rising costs, it is more important than ever that healthcare is accessible and affordable.
Can’t afford your medication? Universal public pharmacare saves money and lives.
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. Nearly 2 million Canadians couldn’t afford to fill their prescriptions in the last year. And for many people that means more trips to the doctor or the hospital – hurting their health, and costing more in the long run. No one should have to choose between paying for their medicine, or paying for their or their families’ other basic needs.