The labour movement worked to win a public healthcare system long before Canadians even believed it was possible. We know that staying healthy means we can raise our families, work productively and contribute more to our communities. Here are just some of the ways we're working to protect and expand public health care:
- We're working to reduce wait times and improve access.
Too many Canadians are waiting too long for healthcare services and treatments they need. There aren't enough nurses and other healthcare professionals to meet the growing demand of our aging population and millions of Canadians don't even have a family doctor. That's why we're advocating for a national strategy to recruit, train and retain more doctors and other healthcare workers in our public system.
- We're making sure Canada is ready for any health care challenge.
Healthcare workers are on the front line and see for themselves where the gaps are when it comes to fighting infectious diseases and epidemics. When they see those gaps, they speak out through their unions for better systems and protective equipment to ensure our public healthcare system is prepared for any challenge.
- We're working to improve long-term care.
Many of us are struggling to find quality long-term care for family members now, and worry that there won't be enough room in long-term facilities when we need it. Healthcare workers, seniors and their families tell us that the existing facilities don't provide enough care. That's why the labour movement is working for real change on both fronts: an increase in the number of long-term care beds, and a minimum standard in the number of hours people get the hands-on care they need.
- We're improving mental health services.
One in five Canadians experience a mental health issue or illness each year. That impacts all of us, in our communities, at home and at work. Countless Canadians aren't getting the care they need and end up in emergency rooms looking for help. The labour movement worked with the Mental Health Commission of Canada to help create the first national mental health strategy to address these issues head on.
- We believe everyone should get the medication they need.
We've won prescription drug coverage and other healthcare benefits for millions of Canadian workers and their families. We've seen the difference this makes in the lives of our members and believe everyone in Canada deserves the same.
We're calling on the government to reinvest in health care.
The labour movement has partnered with community groups working on healthcare issues at the local, provincial and national level. Together, we are calling on the federal government to reverse its cuts of more than $36 billion from our public healthcare system, and to work with the provinces and territories on a new Health Accord that will expand coverage and improve access for all Canadians.