Advocates join NDP in calling for universal drug coverage

Today, health professionals joined NDP Leader Ryan Meili in calling on the Sask. Party government to support universal drug coverage for Canadians. The federal government is currently formulating a course of action, but the Sask. Party has not thrown its support behind this important initiative.

“Canada is the only country with universal health insurance that doesn’t have universal drug coverage,” said Meili. “This gap does an incredible amount of damage, especially for lower income households struggling to make ends meet. When people are forced to choose between paying their power bill or buying their medication, that’s not right. So why has Scott Moe so far failed to stand up for universal drug coverage for Saskatchewan?”

Medications are the second largest cost in Canadian healthcare. Canada’s per capita spending on drugs is 62 per cent higher than Britain’s and 136 per cent higher than Denmark. And Saskatchewan people in particular pay the price: in 2015, low-income seniors in Saskatchewan spent 10 times as much on prescription drugs as their counterparts in Ontario. If Canada had a national drug coverage plan, spending would drastically decrease, leaving more money in the pockets of Saskatchewan seniors.

In 2015, more than 150 physicians, pharmacists, and nurses signed a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau highlighting the importance of a universal drug coverage plan. Dr. Sally Mahood of the Family Medicine Unity was one of the signatories, and joined Meili and healthcare practitioners at the Legislature today.

“Pharmaceuticals are so essential to health and well-being that the World Health Organization has declared that all nations should ensure universal access to necessary medicines,” said Mahood. “Canada needs to get on board. We are here at the Legislative Assembly to ensure that our elected representatives understand just how important we think this is for Saskatchewan.”

“With PST increases and a slowing economy, households are having to pinch pennies and make tough choice – choices they shouldn’t be forced to make,” said Meili. “While we wait for the federal government to decide whether or not to live up to its pharmacare promise, there’s an important role for the province in advocating for a plan that works for us.”

Latest posts

SARM Sounds Alarm on Healthcare Crisis Facing Rural Saskatchewan

SARM joins Carla Beck’s NDP in call for Grow Your Own staffing strategy

REGINA - Today, the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) sounded the alarm on healthcare “staff shortages throughout rural areas of the province”. SARM called the situation a “crisis” and urged the provincial government to start up a Grow Your Own staffing strategy, something Carla Beck’s NDP has also called for.

Moe Driving Docs, Nurses out of Rural Sask: New CIHI data

Rural communities lost 21% of registered nurses since Scott Moe became Premier

SASKATOON - Today, the Official Opposition responded to new workforce data from the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI). The most recent data shows that doctors and nurses have been leaving rural Saskatchewan communities in droves since Scott Moe became Premier in 2018.

Carla Beck to host townhall in Moose Jaw

Dear Moose Jaw Residents,

We hope this message finds you well. As a part of our ongoing commitment to listening to local voices and building made-in-Saskatchewan solutions, we are pleased to invite you to our upcoming Townhall Meeting in Moose Jaw on February 29 at the Timothy Eaton Centre from 7:00PM to 9:00PM.

Share this page