Health Care and Seniors
The Canada Health Act aims to “protect, promote and restore the physical and mental well-being of residents of Canada” as well as to “facilitate reasonable access to health services without financial or other barriers.” Canada’s universal public health care system is a constitutive asset for our country. But it needs to get better, above all at allocating effort and resources, to (i) provide primary care; (ii) improve service delivery; and (iii) measure results.
Seniors are the most intense users of the health care system – and the fastest-growing segment of our population. Those with low income require additional financial support, including for prescription drugs. They also require a primary care doctor or nurse to act as case manager, including in home and palliative care settings.
A Conservative government under my leadership would:
(i) assign a primary care doctor (a General Practitioner, or Family Doctor) to each First Nations, Métis, Inuit or Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) member, while establishing comprehensive digital health records;
(ii) building on the Mental Health Strategy for Canada and the experience of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), establish a Federal Mental Health Task Force to provide service to indigenous communities, to treat PTSD among CAF members and veterans, and to prevent suicide;
(iii) provide pharmacare for the 7% of Canadians who currently lack coverage;
(iv) establish within the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) a Canadian Institute of Health Service Delivery and Management Excellence, staffed by leading researchers and practitioners, and pilot a new service delivery model in indigenous communities and any interested province or territory within 12 months;
(v) amend the Canada Health Act to allow physicians to charge user fees for non-essential tests and to allow private labs to compete to deliver services;
(vi) establish a Canadian Health Innovation Fund to support improved service delivery models in those provinces and territories that procure goods and services from Canadian startup and growth stage biotech and health science firms;
(vii) delay automatic eligibility for Old Age Security to age 70, starting in 2025;
(viii) increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) to ensure all those over 65 have a minimum national income of $20,000; and
(ix) establish a Health Evidence and Performance Office (HEPO) within CIHR to study and report publicly on results achieved by new investments in (a) emergency care; (b) mental health care; (c) primary care; (d) home care; and (e) palliative care.