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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Can we Afford to Sustain Medicare? A Strong Role for Federal Government

Report by Armine Yalnizyan

This report, prepared for the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU), is intended to be a message from Canadian nurses to all provincial premiers. According to the CFNU, Canada has entered a new era of possibility for public health care: a new federal Parliament; new provincial leaders; a new health accord in the making; and, an unparalleled consensus that change must happen immediately. The CFNU asserts that this is the opportunity for Canada’s federal and provincial leaders to deliver a sustainable, high-quality public health care system.

From the CFNU’s perspective, public spending on health care is not going to bankrupt Canada. As evidence, the organization points to how public spending is growing less rapidly than private spending, and that Canadians have clearly indicated they want to spend more on health care, both individually and through their governments. They argue that the sustainability of health care reflects the ability of governments to manage rising costs, and that “out-of-control” spending on health care is misleading considering that spending on other programs has dropped dramatically.

The CFNU contends that the private sector is not the answer to the woes of the public health care system. They suggest health care costs will continue to grow in the coming years, and that public funding will remain the most cost-efficient way to maximize access to health care. Public health care is sustainable, the CFNU concludes; it simply needs a clear vision about what is driving health care costs, as well as the political will to manage those costs.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Armine Yalnizyan;
Publisher: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2004; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: National;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Health Care / Funding
Policy Articles / Health Care / Privatization
Policy Articles / Health Care / Funding / 2004
Policy Articles / Health Care / Privatization / 2004
Policy Articles / Health Care


Keywords / Tags:

health care costs; health care system sustainability; privatization of services; Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions; public spending on health care;