Canada is proud of our healthcare practitioners, our history of medical innovation and our longstanding tradition of universal healthcare. But Canada’s healthcare system is in jeopardy. More Canadians are accessing healthcare service every year, our wait lists are longer than ever and we are falling further behind in innovation.
In some parts of Canada, though, especially northern and rural communities, access to quality healthcare pales in comparison to what most urban Canadians receive. And Indigenous peoples often get lost in a jurisdictional game of hot potato.
At the same time, healthcare costs are escalating at unsustainable rates. Federal transfers are now only funding about 24% of provincial health care costs, even less for the territories. Provinces are requesting funding increases of 6% per year. Costs are growing more quickly than our ability to pay at both the federal and provincial levels.
To make matters worse, provinces are constrained in their ability to innovate to address their needs. The Liberal government has decreased funding and has even threatened to remove funding when provinces look for innovative solutions.
Despite the best efforts of hard-working doctors and nurses, Canadians continue to wait too long for the care they need from coast to coast to coast. Without taking thoughtful action now, these delays will be compounded in the future by an ageing population and by cost pressures on drugs and other cutting-edge treatment options.
Innovation can make our healthcare system better and saves us money. But so too will eliminating antiquated processes and regulations.
Over the next few pages, you’ll see my detailed plan to work with the Provinces and Territories to improve our healthcare system and keep it sustainable for generations to come. I hope that, once you’ve read it, you’ll join me to make this a reality.
Hon. Erin O’Toole, P.C., C.D., M.P.