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Policy Briefing: Health

Healthcare system faces challenges, but not in crisis, says Aglukkaq

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq says compared to other industrialized countries, Canada has manageable public deficits and low public debt. Comparatively, the country is well-prepared for the future.
It is time for the federal government to lead on the real issue of the sustainability of our most cherished social program. But the government has wrapped itself in a constitution cocoon.
Defending medicare means upholding economic and social justice and improving the quality of life for all Canadians. Healthy bodies and minds mean a prosperous country, something that we cannot afford to lose sight of.
All parties, except the Bloc Québécois, want the federal government to play a greater role in health care.
Progress toward implementing a national pharmaceuticals strategy has stalled and critics say it's because the federal government doesn't have the will to act.
Lines for priority services are getting shorter in most provinces, but critics say the federal government's current strategy of focusing the provinces and territories on guaranteeing wait times for only one procedure each is too narrow in scope.
The agreement's expiry date is fast approaching. Then what? 'That's the $64,000 question, isn't it?' says CMA president Anne Doig.
To put it simply, poverty is making people sick, very sick. The fundamental connection between health and poverty is evident.

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