10 years ago today, Roy Romanow, the Commissioner of the Commission on the Future of Public Health Care in Canada, released its landmark report on health care in Canada. Now frequently known as the ‘Romanow Report’, this document has defined the standard for health care over the last decade; a blueprint for the future of Canada’s health care services that is still used today.
The Romanow Report stated that Canadians ‘want and need a truly national health care system’ and called on the federal government to implement key initiatives to improve public health care in Canada. Specifically, it called for investment in more health care providers, meeting the unique needs of rural and remote communities; expanding home care services; improving Aboriginal health care services; and creating a universal prescription drug coverage plan.
However, today we still have not met Romanow’s vision for expanded public health services in Canada, due to the lack of federal leadership. Canadians are still faced many challenges in getting the care they need, including struggling to pay for their medications and accessing primary and home care services. That’s why we in the NDP continue to call upon the Conservative government to uphold the commitments made in the 2003/4 Health Accords, and to commit to a 2014 Health Accord, so that Canadians can access the high-quality public health care first envisioned by the Romanow Report 10 years ago.