The following is a response from the Green Party of Canada to concerns raised by SOHC about the loss of our National Health Accord, received April 3rd.
From Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party:
Thank you for your email concerning the renewal of the 2004 Health Accord.
Poll after poll clearly shows that Canadians place health-care at the top of their list of priorities and concerns. In response, the Harper Conservatives consistently tells us that they will ‘fix’ the health-care system. However, the announced $36 billion cut flies in the face of this claim and will significantly undermine our universal health-care system. In the face of stubbornly long wait times for diagnosis and surgery, over-crowded emergency rooms and severe shortages of family doctors, this administration is performing a grave disservice to all Canadians.
The Green Party fully supports the Canada Health Act (CHA) and all of its principles. We oppose any level of privatized, for-profit health care. The five criteria of the CHA guiding the provincial public health insurance plans, which we believe to be non-negotiable, are:
1. Public Administration – The public health insurance plan must be managed in a public, not-for-profit fashion.
2. Comprehensiveness – All residents must be covered for “medically necessary” health services.
3. Universality – All residents must be covered by the public insurance plan on uniform terms and conditions.
4. Portability – All residents must be covered by their public plan, wherever they are treated in Canada.
5. Accessibility – All residents must have access to insured health care services on uniform terms and conditions without direct or indirect financial charges, or discrimination based on age, health status or financial circumstances.
We believe that we can solve our health care problems. Spending money wisely is an important factor in creating an efficient healthcare system. Careful considerations must be taken with regards to spending, whether it is increasing trained professionals, funding for support staff or improving mandatory reporting of drug side effects. As we move into the future, I am dedicated to developing a health-care system that puts patient care at the centre of all provision considerations and all funding.
To learn more about our health-care position, I invite you to review my recent newsletter on the subject:
Thank you for taking the time to write and for expressing your concerns pertaining to our cherished health-care system.
Elizabeth May, O.C., M.P.
Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands
Leader of the Green Party of Canada