NDP calls for fully funded national pharmacare program

Helen Campbell, a nurse and healthcare provider in the province, has seen firsthand the difficult choices that people have had to make when they can’t afford their medication on top of everyday bills and expenses. She joined NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat at the Legislature today to add her voice to the call for a fully funded national pharmacare program.

“Our health care system cannot function to its full potential without universal pharmacare,” said Mowat. “Being unable to afford needed medication shouldn’t be a barrier to people’s basic health, but that is the reality that so many in our province face today.”

“Saskatchewan’s lack of pharmacare is a direct hit against seniors and other groups who may be on fixed or lower incomes,” Campbell added. “Our elders have contributed so much to our society. They deserve so much better.”

According to the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, as a result of inadequate drug coverage, each year up to 640 Canadians die prematurely with ischemic heart disease and up to 420 working-age Canadians die prematurely from diabetes.

“The status quo just isn’t sustainable. We know that when someone can’t afford their medication, their health suffers, and everyone ends up paying more. In fact, a national pharmacare plan could save Saskatchewan $320 million,” Mowat said. “As a province, we should be a leader in pushing for a fully funded national pharmacare program, so we can bolster our healthcare system and help those who are falling through the cracks.”