National Health Strategy

There is a strong focus on collaboration between the federal and provincial jurisdictions as well as providing the health system with the appropriate resources. Support for far-reaching. However the concrete vision for the overall health strategy is currently absent from the NDP plans.

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The health system is currently fragmented with a lack of measurable standards or unified vision. Federal involvement in health care is limited to providing funds and care to specific populations only. The CFPC supports the creation of a national health strategy for all in Canada.

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The Liberal Party stresses collaboration with provinces and territories as a necessary component to arrive at a vision for how Canada’s health care system should develop. The focus remains on maintaining the system’s universality, while improving its functioning and revamping it to address evolving needs due to shifting demographics. The party has committed to a new Health Accord with provinces and territories. Focus will be on innovation in health care delivery, and to disseminate and scale up new practices, such as using genomics in precision medicine.

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While many of the individual suggestions of the Green Party's plan point towards a national strategy and the platform favours development of one - there is no defined framework in place at the moment.

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Health Funding

The NDP have pledged to restore the health funding transfers to the levels of 2004 Health Accord by cancelling the proposed 2017 decreases.

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Starting in 2017/18, the growth rate of funds the federal government transfers to provinces for health care will decrease significantly, resulting in a $36 billion reduction in funding over 10 years. The move to non-weighted fund transfers to provinces puts aging populations at a disadvantage. The CFPC supports predictable, stable funding that recognizes shifting needs and patterns of health care utilization.

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The Liberal Party acknowledges the harmful effect of funding cuts to the service delivery and system development, however no commitment on reversing the cuts is in place at the moment.

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The Green Party advocates for stable and predictable federal funding, based on an understanding of the needs of every demographic accross Canada to more effectively plan and deliver healthcare services. Their platform lacks a specific strategy to improve health funding.

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National Health Goals

The concept of measurable goals to lead the development and evolution of a health system is currently absent in the NDP planning documents.

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In 2005, F/P/T Ministers of Health established health goals for Canada that, to date, have neither evolved into a national strategy nor have resulted in measurable actions. Moreover, national targets have not been set to reduce health disparities. The CFPC supports the establishment of measurable national health goals.

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The concept of establishing and maintaining measureable health goals as a driver of meaningful development is absent from the Liberal Party’s planning documents at this time.

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The Green Party acknowledges the necessity for health goals, however does not provide a strategy for establishing these, necessary data collection or decision pathways based on data collected.

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Rural and Remote Care

The NDP is poised to develop a rural and remote strategy in collaboration with experts in the field, including the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and Society of Rural Physicians of Canada. At this point no specifics are available outside of a strong emphasis on remote care delivery via telehealth initiatives.

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Despite Canadians’ concerns about accessing health services in rural areas, the federal government has not dedicated federal health transfers for rural recruitment/retention. Provincial systems exist, but vary greatly, resulting in uneven coverage across the country. The CFPC supports a national plan for rural/remote care.

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The Liberal Party acknowledges the added difficulty of accessing quality care in rural environments and suggests increased efforts in recruiting physicians (including international graduates) to address the issue. The suggestions made, however are high-level and lack specifics.

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The Green Party advocates for dedicated health transfers to rural and remote areas to promote care universality. This includes programs to assist in recruiting and retaining rural and remote care providers.

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Primary Care Support

The NDP acknowledges the important role that the care delivered in the community has to play in the overall health system; however no specific commitments are made to develop primary care.

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The federal government acknowledges the importance of primary care but does not provide dedicated funding for it despite the fact that primary care is the backbone of the health care system.

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While importance of connecting Canadians with a family physician is underlined – no specific commitments or plans are laid out for strengthening primary care.

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The Green Party supports consistant primary care to ensure the Canadian healthcare system is centred around patient care. Their platform does not address specific ways that the Green Party would improve support for primary care.

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