Some progress, but no new health deal, as Canada’s health ministers wrap up their Vancouver meeting.
BC Health Minister Terry Lake says progress was made on several fronts, including bulk buying of pharmaceutical,s and combating prescription drug abuse.
However Lake says the other provinces failed to find consensus on changing the per capita funding model, although all agreed Ottawa should pay more.
“We need to grow the pie. Dividing the pie is controversial, there is no question. I have made the argument, as some other ministers have from other parts of Canada, that as the population ages, the healthcare costs increase. If you look at a population like British Columbia, we have an older population than some other provinces, therefore our health care costs are higher.”
The ministers all sounded optimistic and have agreed to meet again to hammer out a new health accord.
Not everyone is happy, though
The provincial and federal NDP are both less than pleased with the non-result from the health meetings.
Vancouver-Kingsway NDP MP Don Davies says the Trudeau government promised real change not real talk.
“Well it was very disappointing I listened to the ministers they met for two full days. The Liberal government promised real change they didn’t promise real talk and that is all I heard.”
“The main announcement that came out of today was apparently simply a decision to meet again and talk some more. I don’t think that is responsible and I think it is disappointing.”
BCNDP Health critic Judy Darcy was hoping for a national pharmacare program and didn’t get it.
“People should not have to choose between putting food on the table or being able to have lifesaving prescription drugs and that is the reality today.”
She says the lack of a national pharmacare program leaves an enormous hole in the public health system.