• Canada should implement national single-payer pharmacare, MPs say

    … the all-party committee on health made 18 recommendations, including expanding the Canada Health Act to cover prescription drugs dispensed outside of hospitals; creating a unified list of drugs that would qualify for public coverage; and asking the provinces, territories and the federal government to share the cost of a national pharmacare program. The goal… would be to ensure all Canadians get the medications they need, while also reining in the country’s per-capita drug spending and drug prices, both of which are among the highest in the world.

  • NDP’s Andrea Horwath finds her footing on progressive platform

    While Horwath may gain traction with soaring rhetoric, her platform remains slippery in spots — brimming with good ideas on caring, but burdened by a black hole on hydro promises that sound too good to be true. Like the Liberals with their ambitious budgetary spending, the New Democrats stress caring while downplaying paying for it… The NDP fiscal plan calls for a budget deficit of roughly half the $6.7 billion projected in the Liberal budget in 2018-19, thanks to higher taxes on the rich and corporations

  • NDP promises $12-a-day child care and lower deficits if elected

    The New Democrats’ fiscal plan, signed off on as “reasonable” by former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page, is bolstered by higher taxes. An NDP government would raise the corporate tax rate to 13 per cent from 11.5 per cent, close big business loopholes, and increase personal income tax on amounts earned more than $220,000 by one percentage point and on earnings more than $300,000 by two percentage points.

  • The case for decriminalizing drugs

    Politicians and the public often oversimplify the decriminalization debate, assuming those who don’t forbid drug use must therefore condone it. But we should all be able to agree on a few things: it’s better if fewer people have drug-related problems, and it’s better if fewer people die… In truth, we have little to show for the vast societal resources consumed by our current policy, aside from overburdened police, courts and prisons. Put simply, tough drug laws don’t result in fewer drug-related problems and deaths. They do the opposite.

  • Fix information gaps in health-care system

    one-in-five Canadians with chronic conditions have experienced medication errors or duplications. Medication errors put patients unnecessarily in harm’s way, but they are preventable. With proper care co-ordination and shared electronic health records, health-care providers can make informed decisions and reduce the chance of medication errors… every misdiagnosis, redundant procedure and unnecessary question adds to wait times and subtracts from budgets.

  • A plan to overhaul Canadian health care systems

    … core elements: A strong national drug agency to provide the necessary machinery to support universal pharmacare… a strong data and technology agency that will help collect and link information, feeding it back to patients and the people who deliver care to them so health care can learn and improve… [and] a “signature” agency, one that will embody the value the government wishes to pursue most aggressively – be it efficiency, innovation, engagement or equity.

  • What should and shouldn’t be covered by medicare?

    The inconsistent coverage of mental health care (and psychological services in particular), home care and prescription drugs has been the subject of much debate, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
    If we are going to have a semblance of a national health system across 13 provinces and territories – without forgetting the large federal health system – it’s important to have equitable (not equal) access for all Canadians. Yet, the variations in coverage between jurisdictions have never been more pronounced.

  • Pharmacare: Focus on Canadians who need it most

    Ensuring that Canadians have access to prescription drugs should be a top priority… One single, nationally mandated pharmacare program would mean dissolving every existing provincially funded and employer-funded plan. It would likely mean one single, much smaller formulary (list of drugs), and would create opportunities for potential savings through bulk-buying. It would likely also create a large national bureaucracy and require a massive IT system … a national pharmacare plan may cover less than their existing plan.

  • Highlights of the Ontario budget

    - $822 million extra to hospitals, funding more cardiac and cancer surgeries, chemotherapy, MRIs and other services; – $575 million to make drugs completely free for seniors; – $800 million over two years for drug and dental coverage for people without insurance (up to $400 for singles, $600 for couples, $50 for each child); – $2.1 billion over four years for mental health care; – $2.2 billion over three years, providing some parents free child care; – $1 billion over three years for a seniors home-care benefit of $750 a year…

  • Doctors have no idea how much drugs cost — a Toronto physician wants to change that

    About 1.7 million Canadians didn’t fill prescriptions because they couldn’t afford them. As a result of that, 303,000 people reported seeing their family doctor, 93,000 ended up in emergency, and 26,000 were admitted to hospital… A Toronto MD is urging the province to mandate drug cost transparency by having prices pop up in the electronic medical record, so when doctors write prescriptions they can talk about affordability with patients.