Federal election 2015 – Issue Summary 3 Health Care

All Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates in the Oct. 19 federal election were presented the following issue-summary and asked to respond

  • Aug. 24, 2015 2:00 p.m.

All Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates in the Oct. 19 federal election were presented the following issue-summary and asked to respond in up to 250 words…

Presently people 65 and over make up about 14 per cent of Canada’s population. That figure is expected to grow to 30 per cent by 2036. Along with an aging population will come increased demands on Canada’s healthcare system.

What steps would you recommend to ensure Canadians continue to have effective, comprehensive universal health care coverage in the future? Are there opportunities to improve healthcare coverage in Canada?

Mark MacDonaldConservative

The Harper government has not made cuts to health care spending – they have actually increased health care funding by 6 per cent per year.

In fact, the Conservative government has actually increased health care by that amount per year since 2006, and has promised to tie future increases to a three-year average of GDP growth.

The Canada Health Transfer was $20.1 billion in 2006 when the Conservatives formed government, and totaled $30.3 billion in 2014. That is a very significant increase.

Some suggest the answer to every problem is simply throw more money at it, but this is not practically possible. Looking within to find efficiencies can often identify new procedures and solutions that improve the system to the benefit of everyone. There is always room for improvement, including in our health care system.

We should always be inspecting to see whether or not we are getting good value for the dollars we pay for health care.

Baby boomers have paid into the system for years and are now starting to deservedly collect on their investment in health care over the years.

In order to fund the increasing demand on health care, Canada must have a strong, solid economy.

We need to continue to build a strong, vibrant economy across all sectors – including the resource sector – to create many high paying, middle class jobs and much needed revenues that are able to fund the quality of life that Canadians have come to expect.a

Sheila MalcolmsonNDP

Canada’s cherished public healthcare system was created by a New Democrat, Tommy Douglas. The NDP is determined to defend it. We are dedicated to ensuring every Canadian has access to the care they need—regardless of where they live or their ability to pay.

Instead of making healthcare better, Stephen Harper and the Conservatives have put our care at risk. They have imposed billions in cuts to healthcare funding to provinces and territories, lowering standards and opening the door to privatization. On the doorstep, I hear people worry that healthcare won’t be there for them when their family needs it. Frontline health workers tell me the Conservative cuts have made it hard for them to care for people in need.

The NDP will restore the federal leadership role the Conservatives have neglected. We will reverse the Conservatives’ reckless, unilateral cuts. We will work corroboratively with the provinces and territories to develop a new set of healthcare agreements and adapt Medicare to the challenges of the 21st century. Our top priorities will be improved access to primary, long-term and home care, improving prescription drug coverage, better mental health services, and measures to prevent long-term illnesses that affect millions of Canadians.

We’ll show immediate leadership by improving health care that’s delivered federally – starting with Indigenous peoples, refugees, and members and veterans of the Canadian Forces and the RCMP.

Canadians are proud of public health care, and the NDP has a practical plan to make public health care a priority again.

Tim TessierLiberal

The federal government must take the role of leader to improve the quality of our healthcare while maintaining its universality and addressing the critical issues of financing and policy. Liberals want to expand research and professional training.

Our health care system is a source of pride and comfort for Canadians yet it needs to be modernized to ensure it continues to deliver high-quality, effective, and efficient care for Canadians.

Our populations are aging, demands on the system are increasing and the biggest challenge can be finding a family doctor.

Liberals are committed to work in collaboration with provincial and territorial partners to tackle critical needs like community-based care, elder care, home care, mental health and pharmacare.

Liberals believe that there are opportunities to improve healthcare through more effective use of resources and revenues. People in Nanaimo-Ladysmith deserve better and deserve to have access to a family doctor.

Paul ManlyGreen

The Chronicle did not receive a response from Paul Manly on health care issues in time for inclusion in this issue summary.

COMING UP IN THE SEPT. 1 CHRONICLE

Issue Summary 4 – Poverty & Homelessness

Poverty and homelessness are issues that have social and financial implications for Canada, particularly for Canadian cities. The social cost of having people living in poverty and homelessness is: increased sickness and mortality; increased crime; deterioration of neighbourhoods.

Cities do not have the resources to deal with poverty and homelessness. There is growing evidence that the cost of dealing with poverty on the street is greater than what it would cost to provide shelter and adequate services.

What would your party do to reduce homelessness and alleviate the effects of poverty. Do you believe a more effective national strategy on poverty and homelessness is needed?