OTTAWA – New Democrats have convened a meeting today of the Standing Committee on Health to address the urgent need to define the federal government’s role in future health care funding.
“We are at a critical crossroads in the history of Medicare in this country. Last week in Victoria, the premiers made it clear that they expect more from the federal government. But Conservatives have failed to take the lead in helping plan – and fund – future public health care in Canada,” said New Democrat Health critic Libby Davies. “Provinces, and Canadians, want action now. And the NDP is responding to that call.”
NDP members of the Health Committee submitted a letter to the Clerk of the Standing Committee on Health on January 23, 2012, demanding an urgent meeting to discuss this issue.
The MPs are reacting to the Conservative proposal to unilaterally cut federal health transfers, which the Parliamentary Budget Officer has said would increase the amount provinces pay for health care and limit the funding they receive from Ottawa.
“As members of the Standing Committee on Health, we believe it is our responsibility as federal MPs to deal with this issue immediately,” added Davies. “This committee is accountable to the public. We ask the Conservative members of this Committee to listen to Canadians and work with New Democrats to ensure Canada live up to its commitments in the 2004 Health Accord and ensure we have a strong and sustainable public health care system for years to come.”