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By Brad Graham, Vice-President, Toronto
The Speech from the Throne announced the Government’s desire to establish national standards for long-term care, expand community care, and included a recommitment to national pharmacare. While these services are currently provided by provinces there are gaps and uneven coverage across the country.
COVID tragically exposed significant shortcomings in the care provided in long term care homes. Even prior to COVID, the need for improved seniors care was very clear – 10 years from now, nearly one quarter of all Canadians will be aged 65 years or older. In terms of pharmacare, 1 in 5 Canadians either have no or inadequate drug coverage and COVID will have increased this number.
While the federal government may make a strong case for the need, and express a strong desire for action, need and desire may not be enough to overcome 3 major hurdles:
The inclusion of long term care and pharmacare in our national system would be a great step forward. However, it will be a very big step, requiring significant cooperation and goodwill between the federal, provincial and territorial governments. And a very, very, big cheque.
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