The Honourable A Brian Peckford
August 9, 2022
Back in 1984 The Parliament of Canada passed the Canada Health Act .
This would provide Federal Cash to all the Provinces and Territories to assist in providing health care to the population, although health care comes under Provincial jurisdiction .
The Act says its purpose involves among other wonderful things :
‘that continued access to quality health care without financial or other barriers will be critical to maintaining and improving the health and well-being of Canadians;’
And in Section 7
In order that a province may qualify for a full cash contribution referred to in section 5 for a fiscal year, the health care insurance plan of the province must, throughout the fiscal year, satisfy the criteria described in sections 8 to 12 respecting the following matters:
- (a) public administration;
- (b) comprehensiveness;
- (c) universality;
- (d) portability; and
- (e) accessibility.
9 In order to satisfy the criterion respecting comprehensiveness, the health care insurance plan of a province must insure all insured health services provided by hospitals, medical practitioners or dentists, and where the law of the province so permits, similar or additional services rendered by other health care practitioners.
- 12 (1) In order to satisfy the criterion respecting accessibility, the health care insurance plan of a province
- (a) must provide for insured health services on uniform terms and conditions and on a basis that does not impede or preclude, either directly or indirectly whether by charges made to insured persons or otherwise, reasonable access to those services by insured persons;
In 2020 Statistics Canada released the following:
‘In 2019, 14.5% of Canadians aged 12 and older (roughly 4.6 million people) reported that they did not have a regular health care provider they see or talk to when they need care or advice for their health.’
So one can confidently conclude that in 2022 there are over 5 million Canadians without a family doctor.
Statistics Canada reveals that this is not a one off , one year phenomenon , this has been ongoing for years .
But this is Canada —we have a free, universal public health care system—a public monopoly —that takes care of everyone —that is why we pay such high taxes —comprenez -vous?
And that the Federal Government will not provide the extra cash if you do not meet the above conditions.
That’s what they say, not what they do and the Provinces accept it.
Law breaking in health care is a regular occurrence.
The conditions and purpose set out in the Act are not being met ——‘that continued access to quality health care without financial or other barriers will be critical to maintaining and improving the health and well-being of Canadians;’
The Comprehensive condition, the accessibility condition——they are not being met .
To further make the point Canada has one the worst record in the OECD for hospital wait times —-is this reasonable accessibility .
According the the independent health organization, The Commonwealth Fund, Canada is second last in overall health care out of 11 industrialized countries.
The same organization says Canada is below the average in affordability !
Last in terms of performance vs spending.
Does this meet ‘accessibility, comprehensiveness ‘ conditions ——‘ continued access to health care without financial or other barriers?’
Does universality mean having 5 million Canadians without a Primary Care Physician? Or mean comprehensiveness? Or Accessibility?
Or waiting multiple hours at a Emergency hospital facility?
Or as the Fraser Institute reported in a new study on medical wait times —-
‘Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada, 2021 is a new study that finds Canada’s health-care wait times reached 25.6 weeks in 2021—the longest ever recorded—and 175 per cent higher than the 9.3 weeks Canadians waited in 1993, when the Fraser Institute began tracking medical wait times. Before this year, the longest recorded wait time was 22.6 weeks in 2020. Atlantic Canada has the longest wait times in the country this year, and Ontario recorded the shortest wait time, which was still more than four months long.’
9.3 weeks in 1993 and now hundreds of billions of dollars later : 25. 6 weeks in 2021!!
175 % increase in median medical wait times.
The Canada Health Act purpose and provisions are being broken every day !!!
So not only do we have Constitutional violations by our Governments happening on a regular basis , especially the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but the legislation that governs financing of health care by the Federal Government is being broken by all Governments as well.
These are some of the elephants in the room that Canadians refuse to face and if they continue to deny such tragic reality it will lead to the fall of the rule of law, of parliamentary democracy and permanent authoritarian rule.
Changing political parties in the various capitals won’t do it —-one set of powerful lobbyists for another, no, we need a National Awakening, recognizing our decline , and facing it, demanding integrity in all our Governance institutions.