Think health care at the ballot box

"A new Ekos poll shows that health care is the number one priority for Canadians."

The Society for the Protection and Care of Seniors (SPCS) has been active over the past several months in urging voters in the local riding to seriously consider the federal candidates and their party’s plans for health care as they seek election next Monday.

Facing the prospect of $36 billion in funding cuts by the current federal government over the next 5-10 years, including $5 billion to B.C., there is much at stake in this election.

A new Ekos poll shows that health care is the number one priority for Canadians.

The BC Health Coalition (BCHC), which partnered with SPCS on the Vote Pledge Campaign locally during the summer and fall, has just released an “election guide” showing where the major parties stand on five key health care issues: negotiating a new health accord; restoring essential funding to the provinces; investing in a National Senior Health Care Strategy; restoring health care services for refugees; implementing a National Pharmacare program; a national plan to eliminate poverty (a major contributor to poor health).

Each person who pledged to “vote for health care” will receive the guide this week by mail or electronically. Everyone can access the guide by going to www.votepublichealthcare.ca.

In talking to people locally, SPCS is finding that the guide reflects many concerns in regard to family and individual health, including the need for supportive community care, loss of medical services, federal cuts to budgets and challenges in paying for needed medications.

It also reflects what has been heard from the candidates at meetings, in all candidate forums and media releases. These are clearly reflected in the guide.

SPCS feels clearly that we need to elect a federal government in 2015 that has a strong mandate to protect and strengthen our public health system.

We are hoping that your readers will agree with this need and will look closely at the election guide before they cast their ballot this coming Monday.

Ron L. Cameron

SPCS

Trail