Libby calls on the Conservative government to support training for more health care professionals

House of Commons
June 7, 2011

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP) :
Mr. Speaker, millions of Canadians have to get by without medical care they need because they don’t have a family doctor.

This means more families are turning to emergency rooms just for primary care. Not only is this hurting the health of Canadians, it also increases the pressure on emergency rooms and costs millions more for everyone.

Will the government finally agree to work with the provinces and the territories to hire more health care professionals?

Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, CPC) :
Mr. Speaker, as the member is well aware, the health accord expires in 2014, not this year, not next year and not the year after. In the meantime, our government will continue to work with the provinces and the territories on the present accord and priorities identified, such as encouraging statutory review of the accord in both the Senate and the House, as well as to be supporting the provinces and territories in the reduction of wait times. We have also gained a lot of ground in establishing electronic health records and a number of other initiatives.

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP) :
Mr. Speaker, after seven years with that health accord, none of that is translated into doctors for Canadian families.

The Conservatives had the second chance to address this in the budget but, incredibly, they let it go.

The fact is Canada needs thousands of new doctors and nurses now, and the provinces are looking to the federal government to help solve this.

So, again, will the government work with us to improve these front line services so that Canadian families get the health care they need and deserve?