British Columbia Southern Interior Member of Parliament Alex Atamanenko, in a recent letter to federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose, has lamented the expiration of the ten year-old Canada Health Accord.
Though not universally revered, the pact between the federal and provincial governments is held up as a good model by many, including the local MP.
“My constituents are very concerned about the future of health care in our country,” states Atamanenko in his letter. “They are asking the federal government to commit to a renewed Health Accord in 2014 and to work with the provinces and territories on health care innovation so Canadians can continue to receive the care they need.
“Health care is a priority for Canadians. It is simply not acceptable that the existing Health Accord is being allowed to expire. Instead of negotiating a new agreement, the government is taking steps to undermine our public healthcare system by unilaterally cutting $36 billion in federal health funding to the provinces.”
The NDP MP’s communique continues, “Downloading health costs to the provinces will lead inevitably to disparity in care standards from province to province, including longer wait times, reduced services and limited access to long-term care.
“All Canadians, wherever they live, deserve equal access to affordable medications; primary care clinics with doctors, nurses and allied health professionals; and continuing care across their lifespan.”
In conclusion, Atamanenko states, “To ensure that Canadians receive the quality of health care they deserve, I respectfully urge you to work with the Premiers to develop a 2014 Health Accord and invest for the long-term in an improved universal health care system.”