Libby’s statement on the Anniversary of Medicare

Many seniors with us today recall it was 50 year ago in May of 1962, that Medicare was introduced in Saskatchewan.  It was a hard fought fight, but the Premier of Saskatchewan was courageous and would not back down in face of those who opposed Medicare. 

Those same seniors also know what it was like before Medicare; when families had to choose between providing for their families and putting food on the table, or paying hospital bills. 

Fifty years later, we celebrate the strength of Medicare across this nation.  As guaranteed by the Canada Health Act, every Canadian has access to the public administration, comprehensiveness, universality, portability, and accessibility of health care in Canada. 

As we celebrate a half-century of Medicare, we must remember there are still challenges that face universal health care.  Issues such as the encroachment of privatization user fees, the cost of prescription drugs, and the de-listing of services still undermine Medicare.  For these reasons, federal New Democrats are committed to working towards the next generation of health care, ensuring the vision of Tommy Douglas’ universal health care remains and is strengthened.

The NDP is committed to ensuring every Canadian has access to the same quality health care across the country.  By investing in preventative and primary care, home care, long-term care, palliative care, and a national pharmaceutical strategy, federal New Democrats have a plan to preserve, strengthen, and defend Medicare in Canada.  Fifty years ago today, Medicare changed the lives of Canadians.  It is our mission to ensure Medicare continues to enhance the lives of every Canadian.