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DAY 3: Health care
In this election, health care is a major topic for students, especially when it comes to mental health. It’s no secret that mental health issues are on a dramatic rise. According to Ontario’s Universities, the number of students on college and university campuses with identified mental health disabilities has more than doubled over the past five years. Given that that number is continuing to grow, increasing access to mental and physical health resources will be a key issue in the election, and one that many students will be paying attention to.
When it comes to health care, the Liberal party is not as specific in its promises as it has been about other parts of its platform. A top priority is to make sure that mental health services are standardized across the country and that every Canadian has access to a family doctor. Their platform also states that they want to make home care and palliative care available for all Canadians and implement a national universal pharmacare program to make drug coverage more affordable. Though these are only some of their points, there are no further details on how they intend to implement and fund these ideas. Pending the outcomes of these plans and based on negotiations with the provinces and territories, the Liberal platform states that the party will commit $6 billion over the next four years. As a student, I would like some more specific attention paid to mental health on post-secondary campuses and in younger generations.
While Andrew Scheer has promised to increase health transfer payments and committed $1.5 billion to buy more MRI and CT machines, these points have not been added to their official platform. Additionally, the Conservatives have dismissed changes to pharmacare and have instead focused on improving health coverage for people who are not covered provincially or through their work, according to CBC. Not being able to look at an official health care-specific document in which the party’s plans are clearly laid out makes it difficult to gather trustworthy information. While their intentions may not be bad, I feel like the Conservatives are purposely being evasive by not sharing their plans.
With regards to health care, the NDP really has one main goal: prescription drug coverage for all. The party has said that with an annual federal investment of $10 billion, they will be able to begin coverage for all prescription drugs by late 2020. While their official platform also calls attention to long wait times in doctors’ offices and hospitals, their national public pharmacare program is the main draw. Decreasing wait times in health-care facilities is a complex and costly issue to tackle. But the party hasn’t provided nearly enough details on how they plan to make the improvements. This is something that requires a more thorough action plan, especially if they want us to think that they intend to keep campaign promises.
Based on the Green party’s official platform, the party sides with the NDP when it comes to creating universal pharmacare for all. They also pledge to restore the federal/provincial Health Accord and revise the Canada Health Accord to prioritize the expansion of mental health and rehabilitation services. They are also promising free dental care to low-income Canadians. In addition to this, the party promises to reduce wait times for medical services, access to safe abortion services and access to gender-affirming health services such as hormones, blockers, and surgery. It’s refreshing to see a party building LGBTQ+ related promises into other parts of its official platform. As well, the Green party’s platform plans to enable Indigenous people to receive timely health care without delay due to disagreements over jurisdiction. Finally, the Green party is the only party to take on the opioid crisis by declaring it a national health emergency and expanding supervised injection sites across the country. They also aim to decriminalize all drug possessions so that people will have safe access to the medical support they need to overcome addiction.
That’s my take on health care platform points. Tomorrow I’ll discuss what each party plans to do for climate change.