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BC Budget invests in health care access, affordability for British Columbians

BC Budget invests in health care access, affordability for British Columbians

BC Health Coalition welcomes support for seniors care, affordable drugs, mental health, primary care

February 20, 2018

For immediate release

Victoria – The BC Health Coalition is celebrating smart investments in public health care contained in today’s provincial budget that will make life more affordable for British Columbians and put quality care within reach for many more across the province.

“We’re very pleased to see the much-needed attention to seniors care, affordable drugs, mental health, and primary care access,” says Edith MacHattie, co-chair of the BC Health Coalition. “These are investments that B.C. can build on in the future.”

Today’s budget provides $548 million for seniors care over three years, including funds for residential care, where the majority of public homes are currently understaffed.

MacHattie says this investment will begin to repair many years of neglect of seniors care services. Today, seniors have less access to publicly funded home and community care services—including home care, assisted living, and residential care—than in 2001.

The budget also includes $105 million in funding toward eliminating or reducing deductibles for prescription drugs for poor and working class individuals and families.

“The funding will provide relief for many seniors and families who struggle to afford to fill their prescriptions and is a critical step toward a healthier province,” says MacHattie.

The BCHC is celebrating the budget’s plan to fully eliminate MSP premiums by January 2020, which will save families $1,800 per year, and individuals $900 per year. MacHattie says the new employer tax is a fair way to replace part of the premium revenue, and that it will be important for the province to ensure that the remaining revenue is fully replaced via measures based on the forthcoming final report from the MSP Task Force.

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For more information, please contact:
Adam Lynes-Ford, BC Health Coalition Campaigner
604-787-6560 (cell) 
adam@bchealthcoalition.ca

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