Universal pharmacare would improve public health, while reducing costs for Canadians, says Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson in a letter to the editor. Stock photo

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: It’s time for Canadians to have pharmacare

Universal pharmacare would improve public health, while reducing costs for Canadians, says MP

To the editor,

Too many Canadians are forced to choose between filling their fridge and filling their prescriptions. That’s why New Democrats are leading the charge by pushing the Trudeau Liberals to lower health-care costs and implement a universal pharmacare program.

One in 12 Canadian seniors skips prescriptions due to cost. That is unacceptable. And it’s costing lives: Canadians with curable illnesses are dying every day from lack of affordable drugs, a Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions study found last week.

Tommy Douglas, the father of medicare, never intend to create such an absurd gap in Canadian health-care coverage. Prescription drugs and other services were always meant to be integrated into a system of comprehensive public coverage, along with hospitals and physician services.

Evidence has been clear for decades that universal pharmacare would expand coverage and improve public health, while reducing costs for Canadians. It’s rare to find such an obvious and effective policy innovation staring you in the face. But successive federal governments have failed to muster the political will to implement Pharmacare for all.

Between four and eight million Canadians do not have coverage for essential medicines when they need them. However, there is a solution. With the recent parliamentary budget officer’s pharmacare report, it’s undeniably clear that we can extend prescription drug coverage to every single Canadian, while spending billions of dollars less than we pay now for prescriptions. In fact, the report shows that a universal pharmacare program would save Canada between $4 and $11 billion.

That’s why the Canada’s New Democrats brought a motion to Parliament to create, with the provinces and territories, pharmacare for all Canadians. But the Trudeau Liberals joined with the Conservatives to defeat it.

If you agree that access to health care in this country is a right, not a privilege, I invite you to join us at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 12 as New Democrat health critic Don Davies brings the NDP’s ‘pharmacare for all’ tour to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 256, 1630 E. Wellington Rd.

It’s time for universal pharmacare. Together, we’ll get it done.

Sheila Malcolmson, MP, Nanaimo-Ladysmith


The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

Just Posted

Lantzville soccer player a first-round major-league draft pick

Callum Montgomery goes fourth overall to FC Dallas in MLS SuperDraft

Manly will give it another go with federal Green Party

Paul Manly to be acclaimed as party’s Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidate

Nanaimo council concerned about Terminal Avenue supportive housing project

Residents point to a lack of safety and security in the neighbourhood

Transport truck driver identified as one victim in double fatal head-on crash

Clifford Bishop, 54, a resident of Cassidy, had been a truck driver since he was 18

Nanaimo council supports borrowing $4.6M for Port Theatre expansion

City councillors pass first three readings of borrowing bylaw

UK lawmakers reject Brexit deal in 432-202 vote

House of Commons votes against the deal struck between Britain’s government and the EU

Awards finalists announced after ‘good year for business’

Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards organizers reveal 85 finalists

Second fatal crash occurs in Alberni Valley

Traffic on Highway 4 is being re-routed as investigators are en route

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

VIDEO: Mattress fire at Cowichan Hospital under investigation

The Cowichan District Hospital was locked down on Tuesday afternoon due to… Continue reading

Most Read