CANADA HealthCare.ca: The top priority for Canada’s health care sector is fixing the Affordable Care Act, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in an interview published Thursday.
Trudeau’s comments were the first public indication that the federal government is seriously considering overhauling the nation’s health-care system to make it more efficient and more responsive to the needs of patients and their families.
“The biggest challenge in health care is how do you make sure that all people who are in the same place have the same chance to live a life, whether it’s for the first time or the last time, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or ability to pay,” Trudeau said during a visit to a small-business incubator in Gatineau, Que.
The Prime Minister said the federal health-services plan, dubbed the Canadian Health Act, is the best way to tackle the growing number of Canadians who are unable to pay their medical bills, a number that is expected to increase significantly in the next decade.
More than half of Canadians are now in debt and nearly 30% are either struggling to pay the bills or cannot afford to, Trudeau said.
In a separate interview, Trudeau also discussed the importance of making sure that people can continue to have access to affordable health care.
He said that the United States should be applauded for having the best health-insurance system in the world and that the U.S. is one of the top three countries in the industrialized world to provide free or low-cost care to its citizens.
Canada is one step closer to making that a reality, he said.
“The U.K., Canada, and many other countries are doing a great job of providing that level of health care and that level will be the one that the Canadians can aspire to,” he said during the interview.
When asked about the importance that the Canadian health system plays in the health-related economy, Trudeau replied, “I’m not sure it’s that big of a deal.”
He also defended the Canadian government’s record of delivering health care to people in need.
“We have the highest per capita health-coverage rate of any industrialized country in the developed world.
We have the lowest rates of preventable deaths,” he added.
“That is a very, very significant accomplishment.
It’s a very important achievement, and we should not just take credit for that.
We should be proud of it.”
The Prime Minster also took a shot at the U-turns and backtracking by U.D.C. Health, the U.-Kiss charity and the Canadian Association of Health Care Providers that were behind a decision to withdraw from the UDS program, a program that allows patients and caregivers to seek care in their home country.
While the UDRPs withdrew from the program, they were still allowed to receive treatment in Canada.
U-Diss, a charitable organization, had originally planned to withdraw in 2018 but withdrew that decision because of a lack of demand.
But the UDAV program has been plagued by delays and financial woes for the charity, which has had to make up lost revenue.