(Open letter to MP Patrick Weiler)
Everyone in Canada deserves access to the prescription medications they need. Yet 7.5 million Canadians have insufficient or no drug coverage, and some are more vulnerable than others – including racialized Canadians and women. Many are making difficult decisions by cutting spending on food and heat to ensure their families have the prescription drugs they need.
COVID-19 has resulted in more people losing their jobs and consequently losing their benefits, making pharmacare more important than ever.
In 2019, your government’s own advisory council recommended a national, universal, single-payer pharmacare program to be fully implemented by 2027.
Due to the urgency of the situation, I am calling on you to take immediate action. As a concrete first step to implementing universal pharmacare, your government should allocate sufficient funding in the coming 2021 Federal Budget to begin implementing universal coverage of essential medicines by July 1, 2021.
It is time to act. Canada deserves #PharmacareNow.
Miyuki Shinkai, Sunshine Coast Labour Council, President