Why are the Conservatives backing away from their wait times commitment?


House of Commons


March 27, 2014

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, once, a long time ago, Conservatives promised Canadians a patient wait times guarantee. However, what Canadians got were longer wait times.

I do not usually quote it, but the Fraser Institute reported that wait times costs our economy over a billion dollars annually.

Why have Conservatives cut $250 million a year that was earmarked for the provinces to help reduce wait times?

Why are they giving up on ensuring timely access to medical care? Do they not care anymore?

Hon. Rona Ambrose (Minister of Health, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, what a lot of think tanks that deal with the issue of public health policy also say – and I know that has been quoted from the Fraser Institute – is that more money is not going to make a difference. When it comes to the inefficiencies in our health care system, we are investing record amounts of funding to the provinces and territories. We need to work with them on innovative ideas and better models of care, but more money is not going to make a difference.