Editorial: Time for action on national pharmacare plan

The report calls for a basic plan for essential medications by 2022, and comprehensive list by 2027

It’s time for action. Actually it’s past time.

For years politicians have batted around the idea of a national pharmacare plan to replace the patchwork of uneven coverage Canadians have now. Coverage is different in every province, with drugs covered or not covered depending on where you live. This can be a big problem for people with a variety of conditions should they want to, or need to, move from one province to another. And with every jurisdiction negotiating prices individually, we all pay a lot more, too, though in their last budget the federal Liberals pledged to create an agency to buy drugs in bulk to help cut medication costs.

A new report called “A Prescription for Canada: Achieving Pharmacare for All” recommends the move to a universal, single-payer, public system. The expert panel behind the report estimates a universal system will save approximately $5 billion, or about $350 per person per year.

The report also calls for a basic plan for essential medications by 2022, and a comprehensive list by 2027.

And here’s where it gets sticky. Three years until we see even a basic plan? And eight years until a full plan? Sounds like we’re just putting off doing anything so we can find some way to talk ourselves out of it, yet again. And that’s only if the government accepts the findings of the panel, and moves to implement them. Whenever we hear about governments kicking anything this far down the road, we get skeptical that it will ever come to pass. All too often governments are short-sighted (as in, they can’t see past the next election), and their ability to stick with a long-term project, even if the same political party remains in power, is dicey. It’s one of the biggest things wrong with how our governments tend to work: short-term results win over big picture.

So while it’s good to have this new report (even if it does tell us what we already knew), we’ll believe it when we see action.

Just Posted

Cruise ships leading culprits in rising greenhouse gas emissions at Ogden Point: report

The GVHA released its Emissions Inventory Report just days after City asks for restrictions

Guardians leaving parks on Vancouver Island’s south coast for good

Juan de Fuca Park Watch folds due, in part, to people not carrying cash any more

Vancouver Island’s West Coast going wild about cycling

Ongoing project will tie Tofino and Ucluelet together with a paved cycling trail

Vancouver Island mom says proper support lacking for dyslexics

October is International Dyslexia Awareness month

Robert Barron column: Cell phone rules in cars are clear as mud

Woman not actively using her cell should not be guilty of distracted driving

ELECTION 2019: Have Justin Trudeau’s Liberals really cut middle-class taxes?

Conservative Andrew Scheer vows to cut bottom bracket, NDP’s Jagmeet Singh targets wealth tax

Woman charged with numerous drug offenses stemming from a raid earlier this year at Island property

Police make arrest on an outstanding warrant dating back to January

Victoria to protect any tree that is a foot thick or more

City poised to protect trees with a circumference to 30 cm or more

Winter preparation underway for mid-Island highways

Drivers reminded to ready vehicles for changing conditions

Downtown Victoria tea shop switches to plastic tea bags

Murchie’s Tea and Coffee says the transition is temporary

Talk ‘Dirty Money’ in BC casinos with the man who knows

‘This is an evolving study’: Dr. Peter German presenting up-to-date information on organized crime

Vancouver Island RCMP bust seizes $50,000 worth of drugs

More than 300 grams of cocaine and crack-cocaine seized in Victoria

B.C. RCMP officer suing the force for malicious prosecution

Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth cleared of wrongdoing after misconduct hearing

Talk to your kids about vaping, B.C.’s top doctor says

B.C. health officials have discovered the first vaping-related illness in the province

Most Read