Open Letter to Federal Party Leaders: Health Matters!
We, the undersigned, representing the four largest pan-Canadian health organizations (otherwise known as the G4) call upon all federal party leaders to: one, make a public commitment that health and health care be a priority item in upcoming federal election leaders’ debates; and, two, include health and health care items in party platforms. Furthermore, we request that all federal party leaders demand that convenors of federal leaders’ debates ensure health and health care issues are on the debate agenda.
Canadians are clearly concerned about health and health care issues. Public opinion polls show that health and health care is one of the top issues that Canadians want their political leaders to address. Moreover, it is one of the few issues that unequivocally touches every single Canadian. However, to date, federal leaders have failed to debate this critical issue.
Before Canadians elect their next federal government, they deserve to know what vision their federal leaders have for health care in Canada. Canadians want a clear plan from political leaders on what they will do to address key health and health care issues such as improving access to services, making prescriptions drugs affordable, advancing the healthcare innovation agenda and improving care for our seniors. These are the issues that matter to Canadians and they must be debated.
The Canadian health care system is one of our most cherished national institutions. It’s a part of the Canadian identity. The health care sector is vital to the Canadian economy representing over 10 per cent of the country’s total gross domestic product and supports more than two million jobs. This sector drives economic growth, improves Canada’s productivity performance and it creates jobs for Canadians. But moreover, a healthy health care system will help foster a healthy Canadian population. Again, health matters!
The G4 expect federal leaders to commit to debating health and health care issues and include these in their party platforms in this election campaign. It’s clear that health matters to Canadians, to our economy and to our future prosperity as a nation.
Karima Velji, RN, PhD, CHE, President, Canadian Nurses Association
Carlo Berardi, Chair, Canadian Pharmacists Association
Bill Tholl, President and CEO of HealthCareCAN
Dr. Chris Simpson, President, Canadian Medical Association
Since early 2001, the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Nurses Association, the Canadian Pharmacists Association and HealthCareCAN (formerly the Canadian Healthcare Association) have collaborated as the “Group of 4” (G4) on issues of mutual concern. Our associations represent many of Canada’s frontline health professionals, managers and trustees. We share the same mission — promoting a healthy population and an effective health system.
For more information:
Marc-André Girouard, Communications Officer
613-241-8005 ext. 258
Kate Headley, Manager of Communications
Canadian Nurses Association
613-237-2159 ext. 561
Mark McCondach, Director of Communications
Canadian Pharmacists Association
613-523-7877 ext. 285
Dominique Jolicoeur, Communications Officer
Canadian Medical Association
613-731-8610 ext. 2038