BC Health Coalition celebrates investments in Pharmacare and the elimination of MSP fees
Victoria – The BC Health Coalition is celebrating continued investments in health care services, infrastructure, and services that affect the social determinants of health that were contained in today’s provincial budget. These investments will make life more affordable for British Columbians and put quality care within reach for many more across the province. The BC Health Coalition is also pleased to see that Budget 2019 includes the full elimination of MSP fees by January 1, 2020.
“BC Health Coalition members advocated tirelessly to end to this unfair tax which most impacted low income families,” says Edith MacHattie, BC Health Coalition co-chair. “It is immensely gratifying to see MSP fees completely eliminated in Budget 2019 so that families and individuals will no longer be paying these fees as of January 1, 2020.”
Budget 2019 also highlighted the investment to reduce Pharmacare deductibles for low-income people and to increase access to medications including treatment for hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and eye infections.
“This investment in Fair Pharmacare is critical as we know many seniors, families, and people on fixed income struggle to afford necessary medications,” says MacHattie. “The BC Health Coalition believes that a national, universal Pharmacare plan is a necessary part of the health care system and that the provincial government’s investment is a crucial interim measure.”
The Budget also re-iterated the government’s support for team-based primary care. Community Health Centres are an interdisciplinary, team-based model that is well proven in Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Oregon. The government’s primary care strategy, announced in May 2018, included CHCs as part of its primary care reforms.
“The BCHC members look forward to seeing the government take action to create CHCs as was committed during the 2017 election,” says MacHattie. “CHCs are developed by, governed by, and responsive to the needs of communities. They have been shown to increase people’s access to primary and mental health care providers and address the upstream determinants of health that can reduce pressure on more expensive hospital services.”
The BC Health Coalition is a democratic, inclusive, and consensus-based community of individuals and organizations that advocate for evidence-based improvements to the public health care system, stimulate public education on health care issues, and drive positive change to the health care system through campaigns across the province.
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