Groups call for Pharmacare Bill's urgent passage

The legislation is "vital" to millions of Canadians, they say

Groups call for Pharmacare Bill's urgent passage

Life & Health

By Terry Gangcuangco

“We urge the Senate to swiftly pass Bill C-64.”

These were the words of Canadian Health Coalition (CHC) chair Jason Maclean (pictured third from left) when his camp, along with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and Heart & Stroke Foundation, called for the urgent passing of the Pharmacare Bill. 

Maclean noted: “Over 50 civil society organizations under the CHC umbrella endorse and support Bill C-64, the Pharmacare Act, a cause we’ve advocated for decades.

“Representing various sectors including healthcare, seniors, migrant rights, sexual health, and women’s rights, we urge the Senate to swiftly pass Bill C-64. It’s vital for millions to access free birth control and diabetes medication.”

The unions supporting the legislation believe it fills a critical gap in the country’s healthcare system and should be passed without further delays.

CLC president Bea Bruske (pictured second from left, next to CLC executive vice president Siobhan Vipond) emphasized: “Millions of Canadians have waited long enough to benefit from free diabetes medication and birth control. The Senate needs to pass the bill without amendments before they break for the summer.

“Pharmacare is the most significant enhancement to our healthcare system since the introduction of public healthcare in Canada. The urgency for this cannot be overstated. Nearly one million Canadians have had to sacrifice basic necessities like food and heating to afford medications, and another million have resorted to borrowing money.”

Manuel Arango, Heart & Stroke’s vice president of policy and advocacy, stated: “For too long, many among us have struggled to afford their life-saving prescription drugs, making risky trade-offs between following doctor’s orders and paying the rent.

“This bill is a historic first step toward equal access to prescription drugs for all people in Canada. We urge the government to seize this moment and pass the Pharmacare Act before the end of June.”

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