Federal New Democrats Serve Notice of Fight for Stronger Public Health Care

JANUARY 21, 2011

VANCOUVER –NDP MPs Libby Davies (Vancouver East) and Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway) joined by Federal New Democrat Health Critic, Megan Leslie, MP (Halifax), today served notice that the New Democrats will fight for a stronger public health care system in the upcoming Parliamentary session.

This follows a public forum held yesterday in Vancouver at which a diverse panel of experts provided their ideas for public discussion.

“Under the Conservatives and Liberals before them private, two-tier medicine has established a toe-hold in this country,” said Leslie. “At the same time they have allowed the public system to deteriorate to the point that waiting lists are causing great public concern.

“This is unacceptable and must be reversed,” said Leslie.

Libby Davies, NDP House Leader said that defending and expanding medicare will be a strong focus of this Parliamentary session.

“New Democrats started medicare. We’re going to work to protect and enhance it,” said Libby Davies.

Don Davies says it’s time for creative and innovative approaches.

“Last session I introduced legislation that would provide free prescription and dental care for all seniors over 65 and children under 12,” Davies said. “It’s creative solutions like these that will expand Tommy Douglas’ vision of medical care.”

Leslie said that the 2014 renegotiation of the Canada Health Act will provide an important opportunity to reinvigorate Canada’s health system.

“We can set goals like making drugs more affordable, establishing national standards for long-term and palliative care and properly addressing chronic disease prevention,” Leslie said.

“Consultations with Canadians – like the one we had last night – are critical to make our public health care system more effective, responsive and affordable,” said Don Davies.