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We need public solutions and federal leadership.

The federal-provincial plan for Medicare, also known as the Health Accord, expired in spring 2014. The federal government has refused to sit down with the provinces and negotiate a new accord, sticking with its plan to cut federal funding which could lead to further privatization.

Canadians cherish our public health care system. It represents bedrock values of equality, fairness and democracy. It delivers the best care at the lowest cost. Canadians want Medicare expanded, not dismantled.

Recent national polls show that:

  • 87 per cent of Canadians support public solutions to make health care stronger, across party lines [1]
  • Canadians expect their federal government to take the lead in health care reform [2]
  • Canadians want their federal politicians to make Medicare improvements the top priority [3]

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) represents more than 628,000 Canadians, including 190,000 health care workers. We call on the federal government to protect, strengthen and expand Medicare.

The federal government must protect Medicare through:

  • Stable and sufficient funding: negotiate with the provinces and territories a new ten-year Health Accord with stable and adequate funding, including at minimum the six per cent escalator.
  • National standards: enforce the Canada Health Act, including the ban on user fees and extra billing, and correct gaps in monitoring and reporting under the Act.

The federal government must strengthen Medicare through:

  • Safe health care: implement a national strategy to reduce healthcare associated infections, with dedicated funding for microbiological cleaning standards, more in-house cleaning staff, lower hospital occupancy, and mandatory public reporting.
  • Better frontline care: promote access to effective primary health care with funding for new and expanded Community Health Centres.

The federal government must expand Medicare through:

  • Better continuing care: Create a national continuing care program, covering long-term care facilities, home and community care, with dedicated transfers financed from general revenue and Canada Health Act standards, plus minimum staffing and phasing out of for-profit delivery.
  • Safe and affordable drugs: Establish a national pharmacare program, and exempt health care from trade agreements, starting with CETA.

For more information, see: Health care: public solutions fact sheets

1. Nanos Research in Canadian Health Coalition. 2010. Election Primer. Put Health Care on the Ballot.

2. Ipsos. July 21, 2011. “When it comes to Healthcare, Most Canadians (89%) Expect the Federal Government to Play a Leading Role – and think that a First Ministers Meeting Needs to be Called as Soon as Possible to Address the Challenges Facing the Health System (92%)”.

3. Kennedy, Mark. September 28, 2012. “Canadians want Parliament to make medicare top priority.” Postmedia News. 

For a backgrounder on the Health Accord and fact sheets on each of our proposals, see Health care: public solutions fact sheets