Health Care

Health Care

A Conservative government led by Stephen Harper will work with the provinces to implement the commitments of the 2003 Health Accord. They will seek to bring Alberta and Quebec into the Canada Health Council to make it truly representative of all Canadians. A Conservative government is committed to implementing the $36.8 billion in new funding committed under the Health Accord.

Stephen Harper’s government is also prepared to negotiate with the provinces to achieve a greater long-term federal commitment to health care funding, provided that new funding is linked to achieving the broader health reform goals of the 2003 Accord. As part of those discussions, a Conservative government will propose that the federal government assume direct responsibility for the catastrophic drug plan in the Accord.

A Conservative government will clear the drug approval backlog and bring drug approval waiting times in line with the U.S. average. They will treat natural health products as “food style” rather than “drug style” products.

A Conservative government led by Stephen Harper will commit one percent of federal health funding to the funding of physical activity. This will increase support for the Canadian Olympic Agency and amateur athletes, as well as activities for school age children like the Awards of Excellence programs.

For more information or to see the Conservative Party’s complete plan for healthcare visit

Jack Layton and Canada’s NDP will reduce the cost of drugs with a national bulk-buying program, like Australia uses. They will phase in a pharmacare program to help Canadians afford the drugs they need. They will end the federally-run health care services in First Nations communities, which require new adequate funding and staffing. The NDP will focus on “closer to home” health care solutions rather than relying on the MedEvac model used in many First Nations, Inuit and other remote communities.

The NDP will implement public or non-profit-based home care. Care in hospitals is $9,000 to $16,000 more expensive per patient per year than community-based home care, which plans for an aging population while relieving the burden on families and especially women, who disproportionately care for elderly relatives.

An NDP government will work with provinces and territories to establish more community-based clinics to handle minor medical problems, reducing the expensive reliance on hospital ERs. They will implement Roy Romanow’s solution for public health care by ensuring the federal government returns to being a full partner in health care, addressing what has become known as the “Romanow Gap” and paying 25 per cent of provincial health care costs within two years.

Jack Layton’s government will create a national public health agency, modeled on the Centers for Disease Control in the United States, to provide concerted national response and treatment protocols for public health emergencies such as SARS. They will restore ParticipAction, the national program that prevented illness by encouraging physical activity, and promote proven alternative and traditional health practices. They will ensure women have access to safe, therapeutic abortion services. They will also include Aboriginal leaders in all meetings of federal, provincial and territorial health ministers.

For more information or to view the NDP Party’s complete plan for healthcare, visit their website at

A Green Party government led by Jim Harris will provide more education on nutrition, healthy diets and lifestyles in schools and community centers. They will enhance pre-natal and early-years nutrition support programs in all communities and support a nation-wide “healthy lunch and snacks” program from Kindergarten to Grade 12.

The Green Party’s “Better Health Strategy Strategy” will reinforce a publicly run, publicly financed, universal health care system and create opportunities for more outdoor physical activities. A Jim Harris government will work to include coverage for proven effective complementary health care, such as chiropractic treatments and herbal medicines. They will also provide incentives for companies to reduce stress in the workplace and promote emotional health.

A Green government will enact policies to reduce obesity by 15%, thereby reducing the incidence of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks. They will enact policies to reduce the prevalence of breast, colon, lung and prostate cancers by 15% and encourage the full-cost pricing of tobacco products and junk food. They will ensure that Health Canada has enough funding to continue Aboriginal and population-health initiatives.

The Green Party will support community based self-help groups, social service agencies, independent living centres and advocacy projects. They will re-examine the effectiveness and safety of the increasing use of pharmaceutical treatments for mental health problems, especially for children. They will also involve mental health clients and psychiatric survivors in research planning, policy development, program evaluation and other decisions that affect their lives.

Jim Harris’ government will set targets to increase the number of Canadians who are physically active by ten percentage points over the next five years. They will bring back a national fitness challenge for primary and secondary schools and empower municipalities to plan neighborhoods that support walking, cycling and recreational sports. Getting active today will reduce health care costs tomorrow.

For more information or to view the Green Party’s entire healthcare strategy, visit their website at

A Liberal government under the leadership of Paul Martin will close what has been called the “Romanow gap.” On the basis of the figures set out in the Romanow report, the current “gap” will be eliminated by increasing federal health transfers to the provinces by a total of $3 billion (beyond all existing commitments) during this fiscal year and next – i.e. by April, 2006. The government has already committed further substantial increases through 2007-08.

A Liberal government will put health care money for the provinces on a long-term predictable basis. A fair and objectively defined escalator formula will assure a steady increase in federal support. A defined formula will help provinces plan better and it will eliminate bickering over money. They will implement a National Waiting Times Reduction Strategy. Federal support for the strategy will be provided by $4 billion in new and targeted funds.

A Liberal government will implement the “Five in Five” plan – an all-out drive to achieve major reductions over the next five years – by the end of 2009 – for waiting times in at least five key areas: cancer, heart, diagnostic imaging, joint replacements, and sight restoration.

Paul Martin’s government will work with the provinces and territories to overcome the shortage of medical providers – in part by increasing the number of medical spaces in universities and accelerating the qualification of new immigrants with medical credentials. In addition, the government will work with the provinces and professional associations to determine an appropriately expanded role for nurse practitioners and other health care professionals to reduce the load on doctors in frontline care.

A Liberal government will also continue to financially support Canada Health Infoway’s development of a national electronic health record system. They will implement a National Home Care Program to provide home care services for post-acute patients, including coverage for medication and rehabilitation services, home mental health case management and intervention services, and palliative home care services to support people at the end of life. A Liberal government will create a new Home Care Fund totaling $2 billion over five. This money will be allocated on a per capita basis to provinces and territories that have passed legislation governing the provision of at least an agreed-upon, minimum basket of home care services.

For more information or to view the entire Liberal plan for healthcare, please visit their website at