JULY 26, 2012

HALIFAX  –  New Democrats are calling on Stephen Harper to work with Canada’s first ministers on initiatives to improve and sustain our public health care system.

Commenting on the Premiers newly released report, ‘From Innovation to Action’ today in Halifax, New Democrat Health Critic Libby Davies said, “Canadians want to see the federal government show leadership and engage with the premiers about the future of our health care system. The premiers are united in their disapproval of Mr. Harper’s take-it-or-leave-it approach to health care funding”.

Canada’s premiers have recognized the growing differences between provincial health care systems, releasing a report today which highlights key areas where they will collaborate to improve the quality of health care across the country, including the adoption of clinical practice guidelines for treating heart disease and diabetes and bulk-buying generic prescription medications.

“The premiers have shown their commitment to improving health care for all Canadians, so why is the Prime Minister stepping away from his responsibilities?”, said Davies.  “This government said it will honour its commitment to the 2003-2004 Health Accords and in the Canada Health Act, but they have taken no action to follow through on their promises”.

Tonight Davies will be hosting a forum in Halifax with fellow federal NDP deputy leader Megan Leslie, to discuss the future of public health care in Canada.  ‘We are the only federal party having this discussion right now, because the NDP believes that Medicare is a cornerstone of our country”, said Davies.  “Collaborative efforts between provincial, territorial, and federal governments will ensure that all Canadians have access to high-quality health care for generations to come”.