Liberal government must invest in health care and in front-line workers « Canada’s NDP

March 10, 2022 at 5:00 am  Federal, Politics

We need to protect and build our health care system so Canadians can count on it when they need it

PORT MOODY – Today, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and NDP Deputy Health Critic Bonita Zarrillo called on the Liberal government to strengthen our public healthcare system and support healthcare workers. Throughout the pandemic, health care workers had our backs and kept us healthy and safe. They deserve more support from the government.

“Health care workers pushed themselves to exhaustion taking care of us and our loved ones these last two years. They were rightly called ‘heroes’ for getting us through an unprecedented public health crisis,” said Singh. “But now that cases are coming down, we need to take a hard look at how we treat our health care system and our health care workers. We need to start addressing some of the gaps that have grown from years of underfunding by Liberal and Conservative governments. It’s time the government offered health care workers more than praise. They need to make the necessary investments in our health care system so that heath care workers and patients across the country have the support they deserve.”

Before being elected in 2015, Justin Trudeau spoke out against the cut to health care transfers made by the Harper government. But after becoming Prime Minister, he continued Harper’s cuts to provinces and territories. The NDP has been calling for an increase in financial support to help address staff shortages and increase capacity at local hospitals with more beds and equipment to treat Canadians.

“The work that health care workers do is invaluable. The pandemic exposed gaps within our health care system that have been there for years,” said Zarrillo. “For decades, Liberal and Conservative governments have underfunded healthcare, and it’s health care workers and patients who continue to pay the price. No nurse in this country should have to work to exhaustion because of staff shortages. The government said they’d have Canadians’ backs. Now is the time for them to step up and prove it.”

In order to help address the nursing shortage, New Democrats have also called on the federal government to help qualified internationally educated nurses living in Canada join the workforce sooner. New Democrats also continue to call for meaningful steps toward a national pharmacare program so Canadians don’t have to make the choice between buying their medication or paying their bills. As household budgets are stretched to capacity with the rising cost of living, investments in expanded health care services like pharmacare and dental care would reduce families’ costs and protect their health.

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