Winnipeg — The Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals calls on the federal government to once again make health care funding a top priority, after its delivery of a budget on Tuesday that shows minimal action on that front.
Bob Moroz, president of the MAHCP, which represents more than 3,600 health care workers in 160-plus disciplines from pharmacists to occupational therapists and social workers, said Tuesday that health care should be a priority for the Stephen Harper government not just for Manitobans, but for all Canadians.
“What we need is universal access to health care no matter where Manitobans and Canadians live,” said Moroz. “This can only be achieved if the federal government makes strengthening our health care system one of their top priorities, which is what Canadians want and expect.”
The 2015 budget states that the feds remain “committed to growing the Canada Health Transfer” (Budget pg. 287), however, the feds are proposing a growth along with “the economy” at three per cent, which is half of what the previous escalator used to be (six per cent). In effect, this means less money for health care.
If political pundits and journalists are correct and this federal budget is a tee-up for the next election, then the lack of health care proposals is something all Canadians should be concerned about.
Earlier today, an Ipsos poll done for Global News found that 59 per cent of respondents favoured a budget that invested in jobs, health care and education, even if it meant increasing Canada’s debt.
The Harper government let the Canada Health Accord, which provided stable funding to the provinces and set goals for such things as wait times and home care, lapse in March of last year. Action plans should not only be limited to infrastructure projects. Health care needs action, too.
While the federal budget falls short on health care, Moroz is encouraged to see the expansion of EI compassionate care benefits for both patients and caregivers. This is an important step in the right direction of helping families going through serious health situations or personal upheaval due to caregiving.
“Our members see first-hand the toll this hardship can take on families,” added Moroz. “Making it easier for a caregiver to take time off would be a benefit to the patient and the entire health care system.”
MAHCP President Bob Moroz is available for interviews. Media inquiries can be directed to Bernice Pontanilla, MAHCP Communications Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 204-290-5829.