The National Council of Women of Canada

Health Care Funding

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE …

September 12, 2000

NCWC welcomes the news of the agreement on health care funding reached yesterday at the First Ministers meeting. It has been clear for some time that the health care system has been badly under funded, and that this has had an impact on health personnel, on hospitals and other organizations delivering health care services, and on individual Canadians when they have needed those services.

Money has been lacking for new equipment and facilities, and for the training and retention of the human resources needed to make the system work. This new funding should make a significant difference in these areas, although it will take time before its impact is felt on health human resources.

NCWC supports a sustainable, publicly funded health care system that provides access to comprehensive medical care for Canadians; it does not support development of private, for-profit health care services. The federal government appears to have not gained any more control than it can exercise now over privatization, except the hope that improved public services will reduce the pressure for private development.

Two areas of particular concern to NCWC members are home care services, which form an increasingly vital link in the continuum of care, and a national drug insurance plan, which would cover the cost of prescription drugs. NCWC welcomed earlier statements from the federal government about possible initiatives in these areas, and regrets that this has not been taken further.

NCWC urges the federal, provincial and territorial governments to continue to work together in the interests of an improved health care system. This agreement is a very positive step, but if our present system is to remain viable, further reform is still needed.

Contact:

Ruth Brown, National Convener – Health and Welfare
Phone: (877) 319 – 0993

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