Letter to the Editor, published by The National Post on July 31, 2004
Sheila and Ralph's ideas on improving health care
Re: End the Medicare Turf War, Sheila Copps, July 30
It is unfortunate that Ms. Copps chooses to compare premiers to teenagers who want an "allowance" but no interference on the health care issue. And it is also unfortunate that she blames rising health care costs simply on the fact that Canadians are getting "older and wider."
Under her watch as deputy prime minister, the Canada Assistance Plan was scrapped accompanied by an annual $7-billion reduction in federal funding. The impact on Canadians has been staggering. The Canadian Council on Social Development's research clearly shows the widening gap between rich and poor.
Canada still has one of the highest poverty rates in the OECD. And one million Canadian children live in poverty. Lack of affordable housing, the stress from lack of social supports and cuts to programs supporting families taking care of children or the elderly are all the kind of stuff that make people sick.
Any doctor will tell you that a healthy place to sleep, a safe place to work and play and community supports are essential to good health - and will save the health care system a lot of money.
Gail Dugas, vice-president, public affairs, Canadian Council on Social Development, Ottawa.
Canadian Council on Social Development,
190 O'Connor Street, Suite 100,
Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2R3
Tel: (613) 236-8977, Fax: (613) 236-2750, Web: www.ccsd.ca, Email: email@example.com