The NDP is promising a more comprehensive kind of seniors’ care.
Libby Davies, the outgoing New Democratic Party MP for Vancouver East, was on the Island on Monday to campaign with Nanaimo-Ladysmith NDP candidate Sheila Malcolmson. The two women spoke about seniors’ health-care issues at an afternoon tea at the Grand Hotel.
If the NDP forms the government, Davies said, “you will experience Medicare 2.0.”
Malcolmson said seniors “should be able to feel secure and cared for – we owe them that. And this government is not fulfilling that primary responsibility and that is something that a New Democratic government will turn around.”
She and Davies expressed concern that there isn’t a workable support system in place for families looking after seniors.
“People do it willingly because they want to, but they often don’t have the resources or the financial support,” Davies said. “They might have to take time off work. It may be something that creates a lot of stress and difficulty.”
Seniors’ care requires an holistic approach, she said, not only to health, but to the social determinants of health including housing and income security, for example.
“These are all components about what makes us, individually or as a community, healthy or not,” said Davies. “So these are big issues, but we’re connecting the dots.”
Davies said the NDP, while in opposition the last four years, has held roundtables and public forums across the country on topics such as continuing care, Pharmacare and mental health. Malcolmson said if an NDP government is elected, “one of its first, easy, zero-cost actions” would be to resume meeting with premiers on health-care delivery.
“It’s not that there’s one size fits all, and it’s not that everything has to be unilaterally decided by the federal government – far from it,” said Davies. “But the federal government has got to be at the table.”