The three million strong Canadian Labour Congress wants government to create a universal drug care programme PHOTO: Joe Raedle-Getty Images)

Pushing Canada towards national universal pharma-care

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Canada has a long-established national universal health care plan which has benefitted generations of citizens.

However, while it covers almost all aspects of health care, it does not cover the cost of prescription drugs.

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) recently sent officials en masse to Ottawa to meet with a variety of politicians to press them into finally instituting a universal drug plan.

Larry Rousseau is the  Executive Vice-President of the CLC

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The Canadian Labour Congress   represents some 3.3 million workers.  This is almost the same number of the general public who have no drug coverage.

CLC officials in the office of the MP MP Randy Boissonnault (L) Next to him are Casey Oraa and Vicky Smallman, CLC National Director of Women’s and Human Rights, Right is VP Larry Rousseau. PHOTO: CLC

Many more Canadians meanwhile are seeing drug coverage at their place of work being cut back as well.

The cutbacks in drug plans in some cases, the lack of a drug plan for others due to the rapidly rising cost of drugs is placing the health of a great many Canadians at risk.

Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour address members of the CLC as they pushed for a universal drug care plan during a blitz on Parliament in an effort called “lobby day”. PHOTO: CLC

Rousseau says one result of this situation is that more people end up in hospital, putting a strain on the health care system and resources while at the same time increasing costs to the universal health care plan.

He says these added costs and suffering could be greatly reduced if the federal government were to create and institute a universal drug care system as part of Canada’s long standing universal health care policy.

Rousseau says the CLC is now planning to make this concern an election issue during the next federal election set for sometime around October 2019.

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